Lobos Fall 10-5 to New Mexcio St.
April 1, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The University of New Mexico (13-14) baseball team dropped a 10-5 decision to Rio Grande Rival New Mexico State (16-14) Monday night in the first of two games between the schools this season. The Lobos only managed one hit after the fourth inning, an infield single in the seventh, and the Aggies scored four in the eighth to seal the win.
New Mexico State struck first when its leading hitter, Tanner Rust, blasted a two-run home run off Lobo starter Alex Estrella (0-1) in the opening inning.
UNM, however, countered in the next frame when it scored a pair of two-out runs. Alex Real, Eric Suarez, and Alex Allbritton each singled to load the bases. Jared Holley was then hit by a pitch for a team-high ninth time this season to force home Real. The next batter, leadoff man Chase Harris, drew a walk to force in another run and tie the game at two apiece.
The next inning the Lobos were able to take the lead when Ryan Padilla tripled to center with two outs. Josh Melendez then smacked a single through the left side to drive him in and give UNM a 3-2 lead.
Estrella, making his fourth start of the season, seemed to settle down after giving up the home run as he retired the next seven batters. However, he ran into some trouble with two outs in the third as a walk and a single brought up Parker Hipp, the Aggies’ cleanup.
Hipp crushed a fastball over the right-field fence to give NMSU a two-run lead. The Aggies’ next hitter, Robert Lecount, made it back-to-back homers when he golfed a low fastball over the fence in left and extended NMSU’s lead to 6-3.
Estrella went four innings and allowed six runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks. He struck out four but allowed three home runs after not giving up a home run all last season.
The Lobos fought right back again, though. Allbritton singled to lead off the fourth inning and advanced to second on a groundout. Harris then crushed a double off the left-center field wall to score Allbritton. Sam Haggerty followed with a single to right to drive in Harris and cut the Aggie lead to 6-5.
Each team had a golden opportunity after that. The Aggies had the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, but Hobie McClain came on in relief and induced an inning-ending double play.
The Lobos, meanwhile, had the bases loaded with nobody out in the seventh but couldn’t score.
Mitch Garver, returning from a facial injury suffered in Saturday’s game against San Diego St., started the inning with an infield single to short that extended his hitting streak to 26 games. A hit by pitch and a walk brought Melendez to the plate.
NMSU then went to its bullpen and brought in Ryan Beck. Beck proceeded to get a fielder’s choice, a strikeout, and a groundout to retire all three UNM hitters he faced and escape without giving up a run.
The Aggies, however, got another chance to add to their lead in the eighth, and this time they took advantage. A three-run double by Rust highlighted a four-run inning as NMSU sealed its victory.
Allbritton finished 2-for-4 and was the only Lobo with multiple hits. Harris’ two RBI led the team. One game after leaving 14 men on base versus SDSU, the Lobos left nine men on against the Aggies.
UNM returns home Tuesday and hosts Texas Tech at Lobo Field at 3:05 p.m. Freshman Drew Bridges is scheduled to start on the mound for the Lobos. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team with Robert Portnoy providing the play-by-play.
Notes: Garver’s hit was the 234th of his career, and he is now only one hit away from tying the school record for career hits by a catcher … DJ Peterson missed his third straight game due to a strained hamstring … UNM hosts NMSU on April 17 at 3:05 p.m. at Lobo Field.