Big Innings Sparks Lobos to 11-4 Victory
April 27, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team used an eight-run seventh inning to defeat UNLV 11-4 Friday night in front of 1,609 fans at Isotopes Park. The Lobos (24-19) improved to 10-3 in Mountain West play.
The game was mostly a pitcher’s duel until the big inning, as UNM’s Austin House and UNLV’s (20-22) Erick Fedde held the potent offenses mostly in check.
That all changed in the seventh as the Lobos turned a 3-1 lead into an 11-1 lead.
“We made some adjustments,” UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. “We didn’t know a lot about (Fedde).
“But we went back to a different approach and started hitting his other pitches a little bit.”
John Pustay led off with a line drive to center that Mark Shannon misjudged and dropped. Chris Nunez pinch ran for Pustay and advanced to second on a single by Mitchell Garver. One batter later DJ Peterson extended his hitting-streak to a career-best 18 games with a single that knocked home Nunez.
Ryan Padilla continued the big inning with a laser past the first basemen. The ball rolled all the way into the corner in right for a triple and two RBI. Josh Melendez walked and promptly stole second for his 18th steal of the year. Trey Porras then continued his hot play with a two-RBI single to center, and he advanced to second on the throw home.
“Trey Porras has done a super job down the stretch,” Birmingham said.
Porras, who recorded his second three-hit game of the week, has 12 hits in the last five games and has raised his average from .250 to .320. During that stretch he also has seven RBI and six runs scored.
“He’s sitting there cold for two and a half hours,” Porras said of Nunez. “He’s just watching the game, then he comes in there, runs the bases, and the next thing you know he’s up and he’s smacking one off the hill. It’s a lot of fun when everybody’s playing well like this.”
Garver then recorded his second single of the inning to knock home Nunez and finish the scoring.
“Everybody can hit on this team,” Porras said. “That’s the great part of this team. This is the most talented team I’ve ever played on.”
“Chris Nunez from Roswell, N.M., is learning to hit my way,” Birmingham said. “That ball was crushed. That kid has a lot of talent. He’s going to be a special Lobo as time goes on. I’m really proud of him for that.”
House earned his fifth win of the season despite not having his best stuff. He allowed three runs in seven and one-third innings, but hit four batters on the evening.
“I beaned a lot of guys,” he said with a little smile. “But that happens I guess. It’s part of the game. I was just throwing strikes and competing. That was basically it.”
“It wasn’t Austin’s best,” Birmingham said. “But he’s looking to get better. He did a good job.”
The Lobos will look to win their school-record eighth-straight weekend series when the teams meet tomorrow evening at 6 at Isotopes Park. Fans can listen to the game live on ESPN 101.7 The Team. Sophomore Josh Walker will get the start for the Lobos.