Lobos On the Road Again to Face Nebraska

Feb. 28, 2013

Series Notes: Lobos at Nebraska Get Acrobat Reader

Lobo Baseball - at Hawks Field at Haymarket Park, Lincoln, Neb.
When: Friday 1:05 p.m. (MT), Saturday 1:05 p.m. (MT), Sunday 12:05 p.m. (MT)
Who: Nebraska Cornhuskers
GoLobos.com: Postgame recap and stats

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico Lobos hit the road again as they travel to Lincoln, Neb., for a weekend series with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. After posting 1-2 records each of the first two weekends, UNM is looking for its first series win of the season. Nebraska, meanwhile, is looking for its first win of the season. Period. The Cornhuskers have dropped seven straight games to begin 2013 as they began the season with seven tough road games: two at No. 22 Cal State Fullerton, three at No. 25 Texas, one at USC, and one at CSU Bakersfield. The Lobos are simply trying to find consistency in all aspects of the game: hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning. In the two games they managed to put it all together they won handily. In the games they didn't, however, it has been a struggle in close contests. They have lost four games by a total of nine runs.

Scouting Nebraska ... The Cornhuskers have struggled against a brutal schedule to open the season under second-year head coach Darin Erstad. They are currently 0-7, but each game has been played on the road and five games have come against nationally-ranked oppenents: two at No. 22 Cal St. Fullerton and three at No. 25 Texas. They are hitting .234 as a team and the pitching staff has an ERA of 7.11.
   Sophomore second baseman Pat Kelly, who was a Freshman All-American in 2012, and senior outfielder Chad Christensen have been two bright spots for the Nebraska offense, hitting .393 and .321, respectively. Kelly was particularly hot in Nebraska’s most recent series against Texas as he went 5-for-12 (.417).
    Junior righty Christian DeLeon, slated to start Saturday’s contest, has been the most effective starter for the Cornhuskers this season. In two starts he has an ERA of 2.53 and has held opponents to a .243 batting average against. One area where Nebraska’s pitching staff has done a good job is keeping the ball in the yard. As a group they have allowed only two home runs in 57 innings.
    The Cornhusker D has been solid as well, committing only three errors in 245 chances.

Shoutout to shutouts ... From Feb. 17 through Feb. 23 Lobo pitchers did not allow a run over 21 consecutive innings. For the final 5 1/3 innings during UNM’s 9-1 victory over Oklahoma St., through the 7-0 shutout of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and for the first 6 2/3 innings against Iowa, Lobo pitchers held the opposition scoreless. It was the longest scoreless innings streak by Lobo pitchers since at least the 1981 season as complete box scores are unavailable prior to that year. Here is the complete breakdown of pitchers who were part of the streak (listed by total innings pitched):

A.J. Carman, junior RHP...............7 IP
Kevin Baumgartner, junior LHP...............5.2 IP
Josh Walker, junior RHP...............3 IP
Sam Wolff, senior RHP...............2 IP
Hobie McClain, senior RHP...............1.2 IP
Alex Estrella, sophomore LHP...............1.1 IP
Gabe Aguilar, senior LHP...............0.1 IP

Longest Scoreless IP Streaks Since 1981
Inns. Dates Opponents
21.0 2/17-2/23, 2013 Ok. St., TAMU-CC, Iowa
19.1 5/1-5/8, 2011 UNLV, Air Force
16.2 4/25-4/27, 2010 Air Force, Texas Tech
16.1 2/24-2/26, 2006 Utah Valley St.
14.1 4/1-4/3, 2004 BYU
14.0 1/29-2/3, 2000 Grand Canyon, Arizona

All CLASS ... Senior Mitch Garver was named one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Garver is one of four candidates who is an All-American and is the only student athlete on the list from the Mountain West.

“Protection” is spelled G-A-R-V-E-R ... In 2013 teams figure to pitch around junior third baseman DJ Peterson quite a bit. He has already been intentionally walked four times this season, and each time senior catcher and fellow All-American Mitch Garver came through with a run-scoring hit.

Results after Peterson intentional walks:
Date Opp. Inning Garver Result
2/16 Okla. St. Bot 6 Single, 2 RBI
2/17 Okla. St. Bot 1 Single, 1 RBI
2/17 Okla. St. Bot 6 Triple, 2 RBI
2/22 TAMU-CC Top 1 Single, 1 RBI

Dominant Middle Frames ... In the second through sixth innings this season the Lobos have outscored their opponents by an astounding 31-3 margin.

Clutch ... Of UNM’s 37 RBI this season, 22 have come with two outs. All-American DJ Peterson is tied for the team lead with 8 total RBI, and each one of those has come with two outs. 

All-Tournament Team ... The Lobos had five players named to the Kleberg Bank College Classic All-Tournament Team: senior catcher Mitch Garver (.357, 3 RBI); sophomore first baseman Alex Real (.286, one HR); freshman second baseman Sam Haggerty (.444, one 2B); junior third baseman DJ Peterson (.383, two 2B, one 3B, one HR); and junior starting pitcher A.J. Carman (7 IP, 0 R, 3 K).

We really are New Mexico ... The 2013 New Mexico baseball team has 12 players from the state of New Mexico. It is no secret coach Ray Birmingham wants to take local kids all the way to Omaha. Ever since he got to UNM, he has been a big advocate of recruiting the best local talent New Mexico has to offer.

Nearing 1,000 ... Head coach Ray Birmingham has 986 career wins spanning at three programs spanning a quarter of a century. He won 53 games in two seasons at College of the Southwest, 765 games in 18 years at New Mexico Junior College, and 166 in his first five seasons at UNM, which are the most ever in a coach’s first half-decade at UNM.