Lobos Split Doubleheader With Riverside
March 9, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team split a doubleheader with UC Riverside Saturday at Isotopes Park, losing game one 14-12 and winning game two 10-7.
DJ Peterson was literally unstoppable throughout the day. He finished 6-for-6 with three singles, three solo home runs and a staggering five walks in a row in game two. He homered twice in game one, and after he knocked one over the fence in left-center in the bottom of the first in game two, the Highlanders (8-7) simply refused to pitch to him. He saw 20 straight pitches out of the strike zone.
Going back to his last at bat Friday night, Peterson has reached base in 12 straight plate appearances. He is 7-for-7 with four solo home runs, three singles, and five walks (three intentional).
Josh Walker was outstanding in relief for the Lobos (6-7) in the second game. He pitched well enough to earn the win, but had to settle for his second save of the season. He hurled five shutout innings, allowed only three hits and struck out nine. Jonathan Cuellar pitched one inning for his first career win.
Game one: For the second game in a row the Lobos fell behind early, but unlike Friday they were unable to rally for a victory. UNM led, 3-2, after one, but Riverside struck for five in the second and the Lobos never fully recovered as the teams played through intermittent snow flurries.
The Lobos cut the lead to one after the third and sixth innings, but never tied the game or retook the lead. Starter Kevin Baumgartner allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings. UNM out-hit the Highlanders 16-14 and committed fewer errors, but eight Lobo pitchers walked nine Riverside batters while UNM’s hitters drew only two free passes.
UNM scored three in the first, one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the eighth.
Riverside came in to the game having homered only twice all season, but the ball was carrying early and the Highlanders proceeded to hit two out in the first two innings to pace their early lead. The Lobos also took advantage of the long ball courtesy of Peterson’s two homers and Real’s second of the season.
UNM had the tying run at the plate in the eighth against Trevor Frank, the Highlander’s closer, but Real flew out to deep center to end the inning. The Lobos then went down in order in the ninth to suffer their seventh loss of the season.
Game two: Peterson continued his torrid play by getting the Lobos on the board in the bottom of the first with his third solo home run of the day. In the second, Real led off with a walk and Padilla singled to right center to move him to second. Chase Harris followed with an RBI single that scored Real and sent Padilla to third. Alex Allbritton then came through with a sacrifice fly to increase UNM’s early cushion to 3-0.
After Riverside scored two in the top of the third, UNM answered with three more in the bottom of the frame. With one out and the bases loaded, Allbritton drew a walk to score Campbell. One batter later Sam Haggerty hit a ground-rule double down the left field line to knock home Harris and Padilla.
UCR then scored five in the fourth, and the Lobos answered with three in the fourth to retake the lead 9-7.
Campbell led off with a single to the catcher, and then Real and Padilla walked to load the bases. Harris then pushed a perfect bunt just past the pitcher for an RBI single. One batter later Josh Melendez walked to force home another run. Haggerty then drove home the third run of the inning with a fielder’s choice.
UNM added its final run in the fifth on another RBI single by Harris.
After that, however, the game settled down. Josh Walker came on in relief for UNM and completely shut down the Highlanders. Simply put, the junior righty out of Rio Rancho, N.M., was outstanding as he kept the Highlanders off-balance with his breaking ball on his way to nine strikeouts.
Harris led the Lobos with four hits and three RBI while Padilla went 1-for-1 with four walks and scored four times. Haggerty also finished with three RBI.
Notes: In game two the Lobos walked 15 times, two shy of the MW record set by Utah vs. Utah Valley in 2007, and one shy of the team record set against Air Force on April 17, 2004 … Melendez stole his fifth base in game one … Mitch Garver and Campbell extended their hitting streaks to 12 games apiece … freshman Drew Bridges made his first career start on the mound for the Lobos in game two and allowed four runs in three innings.