Tough Road Trip for Lobos Begins at No. 14 Arizona St.
March 12, 2013
Lobo Baseball - at Packard Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. (MT)
Who: Arizona St. Sun Devils
GoLobos.com: Gametracker, postgame recap and stats
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico baseball team begins a tough four-game road trip with a game at No. 14 Arizona St. Wednesday night. The Lobos are coming off a 4-2 homestand featuring a midweek sweep of LaSalle and a four-game split with UC Riverside. UNM's bats came alive last week as the team scored 75 runs over the four games. That total is more than 158 Division I teams have scored in the entire season, and almost matches ASU's output of 78 runs in 13 games. Unfortunately for the Lobos the pitching staff struggled last week and allowed 51 runs of its own. On Wednesday UNM will face a dominant Sun Devil pitching staff that has held opponents to a .184 batting average and allowed only two runs in a three-game sweep of Long Beach St. last weekend. The Sun Devils have held opponents to two or fewer runs in eight games this season easing the pressure on the team's offense. The Sun Devils are only hitting .288 but are getting timely big hits and boast a .443 slugging percentage.
• Scouting Arizona St. ... The Sun Devils are coming off a weekend sweep of Long Beach St. in which their pitching staff only allowed two runs. They are paced offensively by junior outfielder Kasey Coffman (.370) and junior third baseman Michael Benjamin (.349). Trever Allen leads the team with four home runs, and James McDonald leads in doubles (six) and RBI (13). The Sun Devils have only scored 78 runs in 13 games (while the Lobos scored 75 in six games last week), but they haven’t needed to score that much because their pitching staff has been so dominant. ASU’s pitchers have a 2.15 ERA, which is good for 15th in the country, and have held opponents to a .184 batting average. They have allowed more than two runs in a game only five times this season and only once in their past eight games. For comparison, the Lobo pitching staff has given up more than two runs in an inning 11 times this season. Closer Ryan Burr has an ERA of 0.75 in five appearances spanning 12.0 innings. He has struck out 15 and allowed only three hits and three walks. Wednesday’s starter, Zak Miller, has only appeared in one game this season. In one inning he allowed an unearned run on two walks.
• Eleven? Ha! This one goes to 12 ... Junior DJ Peterson had himself a weekend against UC Riverside as he reached base safely in 12 straight plate appearances. Beginning with his final at bat on Friday, March 9, and extending through both games of the doubleheader on March 10, he had seven straight hits, including four home runs, before the Highlanders refused to pitch to him. After homering in his first at bat in the second game of the twin bill, he saw 20 straight pitches out of the strike zone and walked five times. Even though he played two full games and in parts of two others, he did not make an out for over 40 hours.
• Runs for everyone ... In six games last week the Lobos scored 75 runs. So far that is more than 158 teams have scored all season. UNM currently ranks ninth in the nation in scoring and is averaging 8.7 runs per game.
• Walk this way ... The Lobos drew 15 walks against UC Riverside in the second game of their doubleheader on March 9. It was one shy of the school record and two shy of the Mountain West record. DJ Peterson (five) and Ryan Padilla (four) accounted for nine of those walks.
• Go DJ, that's my DJ ... After his tremendous series against UC Riverside, DJ Peterson has risen up the national leaderboard in several categories.
Slugging 1.138 -1st
Total bases 66 - 1st
Home runs per game 0.57 -1st
Home runs 8 - T-1st
Runs per game 1.71 - 2nd
Batting avg .500 - T-2nd
OBP .597 - 4th
Runs 24 - T-4th
Hits 29 - T-5th
RBI per game 1.57 - 6th
RBI 22 - T-12th
Doubles 7 - T-23rd
• What a week for Walker ... Junior Josh Walker had a tremendous week on the mound for the Lobos from March 5-10. In three appearances he hurled nine scoreless innings and allowed only seven hits while striking out 16 to earn his first win, as well as his first two saves, of the season.
• Mmm-mmm good ... Senior Luke Campbell is off to a tremendous start in 2013. He has started the past 13 games and has a hit in every one. He currently boasts a batting average of .417 (25-for-60), is second on the team in RBI (18), on-base percentage (.485),and slugging (.583). On March 5 against LaSalle he hit his first home run since May 6, 2011, and on March 10 he recorded two assists from left field. Not bad for someone who missed all of 2012 due to a fractured orbital bone.
• That's gotta hurt ... Against LaSalle on March 5, the Lobos were plunked by six pitches. It was the most HBP for UNM since BYU pitchers hit six Lobos on March 13, 2003. Freshman Jared Holley was hit three times against the Explorers, the most in a single game for a Lobo since Jordan Pacheco was also hit three times on Feb. 28, 2006, against the New Mexico St. Aggies.
• 200 and counting ... Senior catcher Mitch Garver reached a milestone against Nebraska on Saturday, March 2, by recording his 200th career hit. He is only the second player in UNM history whose primary position was catcher to reach that plateau, and he currently has 211. Former All-American Rafael Neda holds the record for career hits for backstops at UNM with 233.
• Big-inning woes ... UNM has been on the wrong side of big innings this season. Their opponents have scored four or more runs in an inning 10 times. In fact, 51 of the 98 runs (52.0 percent) their opponents have scored this season have come during those 10 innings.
• Expect runs early ... Both the Lobos and their opponents are scoring early and often this season. In the first inning of games the Lobos (21 runs) and their opponents (22) have combined to score 43 runs, which is 14 more than in any other inning.