Lobos Open MW Play at No. 21 UNLV
March 14, 2013
Lobo Baseball - at Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Friday, 7:05p.m. (MT), Saturday, 3:05 p.m. (MT), Sunday, 2:05 p.m. (MT)
Who: UNLV Rebels
GoLobos.com: Gametracker, postgame recap and stats
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico continues a tough four-game road trip by beginning Mountain West play at No. 21 UNLV Friday night. The Lobos are hoping for a repeat of 2012 as they have struggled to a 6-9 record through the first quarter of the season. Through 15 games last year they had a 5-10 record and were facing San Diego St. to begin conference play. They promptly swept the Aztecs on their way to the regular-season and tournament titles. UNM would love nothing more than for history to repeat itself, but it will be a difficult start as the Rebels are one of the hottest teams in the nation. They have won 10 straight games and vaulted into the Top 25 of several polls. This is a key stretch of games for UNM as nine of their next 11 games are against Mountain West foes. Luckily, the Lobos won six of seven meetings between the schools in 2012, including a 13-0 shutout at Sam Boyd Stadium in the Mountain West Tournament. UNM’s only loss to the Rebels last season came in Las Vegas on May 11 as it dropped a 7-4 decision. The Lobos are 17-8 overall against UNLV in their last 25 contests against the Rebels.
• Scouting UNLV ... The Rebels are hot hot hot. They have won 10 straight games, including a sweep at then-No. 9 Stanford, for their longest winning streak since 1991.They are doing it with both hitting (team batting average of .309) and pitching (team ERA of 2.45). Senior outfielder Brandon Bayardi leads the team with a .386 average and also has UNLV’s only home run. Sophomore Erik VanMeetren (.368) and senior Mark Shannon (.362) also boast healthy batting averages and are tied for the team lead with seven doubles apiece. The team has also excelled on the basepaths and has stolen 30 bases already this season.
The trio of starters this weekend, Erick Fedde, Buddy Borden, and John Richy, have combined to allow only 17 earned runs in over 79 innings. The closing tandem of seniors Brady Zuniga and Andrew Beresford have a combined 3-0 record, four saves, and 19 strikeouts in 18.2 innings. In total, the staff has 128 strikeouts and has only issued 42 walks while holding opponents to a .231 batting average.
• Extra-inning blues ... In 2012 the Lobos had only three games all season go into extra frames, but they have already matched that number about a quarter of the way through the season. Unfortunately, unlike last year when they went 2-1 the Lobos have struggled in extras so far. They are 0-3 and have been outscored 6-0 in the 10th through 13th innings.
• 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 got off to a tremendous start in 2013. After coming off the bench in the season-opener, he started the next 13 games and recorded a hit in every one. He currently boasts a batting average of .385 (25-for-65), is second on the team in RBI (18), on-base percentage (.452),and slugging (.538). 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 212. 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 102 runs (50 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 (22 runs) and their opponents (22) have combined to score 44 runs, which is 14 more than in any other inning.