Walker Shuts Out Fresno St. as No. 16 UNM Rolls 9-0
May 10, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. – There’s only one word to describe Josh Walker’s performance against Fresno St. Friday night: dominating.
The junior out of Rio Rancho, N.M., struck out six and retired the final 16 batters he faced on his way to his first career shutout as the 16th-ranked Lobos (31-17, 21-4) dominated the Bulldogs (17-30, 10-15) by a score of 9-0.
“Josh was perfect,” UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. “He threw a great game. He was absolutely locked in.”
The Bulldogs managed to get only one runner to second base as Walker did not allow a base runner after the fourth inning as he moved his record to 9-0.
The win was UNM's 13th straight in conference play, extending their MW record.
The Lobos got on the board in the third on a one-out, solo home run by Alex Allbritton. It was the senior’s second in three games and only the third of his career. It was his second career home run in Fresno, as he also connected on a home run on March 31 last season.
The Lobos also got a solo home run from Alex Real, his seventh, and a two-run blast from DJ Peterson, his MW-leading 14th of the season. Chase Harris chipped in with a two-RBI double and an RBI single, Mitch Garver also had an RBI single, and Jared Holley hit a sacrifice fly to account for UNM’s runs.
“Every pitcher they threw was at 92-95 (mph),” Birmingham said. “We made adjustment after adjustment. This was a great team win.”
Virtually every Lobo got in on the action, but Josh Melendez was unable to scratch out a hit, ending his 26-game hitting streak. He had one final at-bat in the ninth, but he was hit on a 1-0 pitch, which denied him a chance to extend the streak.
Luke Campbell had his ninth straight multi-hit game as he finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs. But the story of the night was Walker.
In 2012 he was a staple of UNM’s weekend rotation, but he began 2013 as the Lobos’ closer. After posting an 8-0 record with seven saves, he was moved to the rotation to help stabilize it as UNM looks toward postseason play.
He did more than stabilize Friday. He faced only two batters over the minimum ,recorded 11 groundball outs and lowered his ERA to 3.38. He is now 17-3 in his career, and his .850 winning percentage is the all-time high for any Lobo with at least 15 decisions.
The Lobos will try for their ninth straight MW series victory Saturday evening. Senior Sam Wolff, who has allowed only one run in his last 21.2 innings, will start on the mound for UNM.
Notes: It was only UNM’s third shutout of the season and the three hits allowed tied a season-low … the Lobos have won 18 of their last 21 games … during his multi-hit streak, Campbell has raised his average from .328 to .376 … Peterson moved into a tie for fourth in career total bases at UNM with 458 and now has 37 career home runs … one more win for UNM in conference play will tie the school record of 22 set in 2000 … Walker has been the winning pitcher for UNM in three of its last four games.