Lobos' Season Ends In 6-5, 13-inning NCAA Loss To Columbia

June 1, 2013

New Mexico Lobos Baseball - 2013 NCAA College World Series -- Cal State Fullerton Regional

Saturday: Columbia 6, New Mexico 5 (13 innings)
Friday: Arizona State 4, New Mexico 3

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

FULLERTON, Calif. -- For the second time in two months, an Ivy League champion broke a bunch of Lobo hearts.

The Columbia Lions pulled themselves off the canvas with a five-run rally in the eighth inning that formed a 5-5 tie and then pushed the New Mexico Lobos out of the Cal State Fullerton Regional with a 6-5 win in 13 innings.

The Lions got the winning run in the top of the 13th when Nick Ferraresi singled and was bunted down to second base. He scored on a single that Aaron Silbar slipped past UNM's second baseman Sam Haggerty and into right field. Ferraresi barely beat Mitch Garver's tag at the plate.

The Lobos had a chance to tie in the bottom of the 13th, but DJ Peterson struck out for the third out with Sam Haggerty standing on third base.

The loss ended New Mexico's season while Columbia advances one step in the losers' bracket and plays the loser of Cal State Fullerton/Arizona State on Sunday. UNM, the Mountain West regular-season champion, ends the season at 37-22.

Columbia rolled goose eggs onto the scoreboard in 11 innings, but rallied in the eighth for its five runs off three Lobo pitchers to form a 5-5 tie - three of those runs crossed the plate with two outs.

New Mexico did not score after the sixth when a three-run rally handed UNM a 5-0 lead.

The Lions got an impressive outing out of the bullpen from Joey Donino, who went 6 2/3 innings striking out eight Lobos and allowing no runs. Alex Black pitched the bottom of the 13th for Columbia giving up a walk and no hits.

UNM scored its five runs on 14 hits and stranded 13 runners. Columbia produced six runs on 13 hits and left nine Lions on base. The Lobos got two hits apiece from Haggerty, Peterson, Garver and Luke Campbell - the 2-3-4-5 batters - but too often the Lobos didn't come up with the timely hit with runners in scoring positions.

The Lobos again got a strong performance from their starter as Sam Wolff went 7 1/3 innings allowing one run off six hits and seven strikeouts.

With Wolff controlling the Lions from the mound, the Lobos looked like they broke open the game in the sixth by plating three runs and stretching a 2-0 lead into a commanding 5-0 lead. That inning sent Columbia starter, Tim Giel, to the showers. Giel went 5.1 innings allowing nine hits and was responsible for all five New Mexico runs.

The Lions did not roll over.

The Lions made it interesting in the eighth with a five-run rally that came off Wolff, Hobie McClain and Gabe Aguilar. That Columbia rally began with a double that pushed Wolff off the mound in favor of McClain.

McClain quickly gave up a two-run homer as Columbia pulled to 5-2 on the scoreboard. McClain lost the mound after walking two Lions and Gabe Aguilar came in with two outs and Columbia runners at first and second.

Aguilar walked the first Lion he faced to load the bases. He then gave up two weakly-hit singles that allowed Columbia to tie the game. Aguilar got out of the jam getting Lion Eric Williams to fly out to right with runners on first and second.

The Lions had a great chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth when their first two batters reached base. Columbia decided not to advance the runners with a bunt and let clean-up hitter Joey Falcone hit away. He bounced into a 6-4-3 double play with the Lions' Gordon Serena pulling into third. UNM's Mitch Garver ended that threat by picking Serena off third base.

UNM had Peterson on second in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but a double play got Columbia out of that jam.

The Lobos three-run sixth was started off a single by Sam Melendez which was matched by John Pustay. Alex Allbritton blasted a ball deep to left that ended up as a ground-rule double that pushed Melendez home. With Allbritton on second and Pustay on third, Holley singled up the middle to produce two more Lobo runs.

The Lobos took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning when Chase Harris led off and reached base after being hit by a pitch. Sam Haggerty bunted his teammate down to third where Harris eventually scored on a single by Mitch Garver.

The Lobos made it 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth when Haggerty smashed a two-out double and was pushed to the plate on a double by DJ Peterson.