Lobos Begin Eight-Game Homestand With Doubleheader
March 18, 2013
Lobo Baseball - at Isotopes Park
When: Tuesday, 2 p.m. (MT); Game two will follow approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one
Who: Missouri St. Bears
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobos return home to begin an eight-game homestand against the Missouri St. Bears. UNM is coming off a series win at No. 21 UNLV to open Mountain West play. The Lobos won Friday's contest 3-2 in 10 innings before dropping Saturday's game 8-7. They rebounded to defeat the Rebels 12-7 on Sunday to win the series and are now tied at the top of the MW standings with Nevada and San Diego St. after three games. UNM will look to build off that win against a visiting Missouri St. squad that has some impressive numbers, albeit put up against some lesser teams. The Bears' pitching staff currently boasts a 2.61 ERA and is holding opponents to a .238 batting average. They have yet to give up a home run and have only allowed 26 extra-base hits in 165.1 innings this season. Their offense has struggled at times this season, but it is being paced by a trio of hitters: Tate Matheny (.394/.463/.535), Luke Voit (.333/.384/.436) and Conor Smith (.310/.341/.500). Most recently the Bears took two out of three from visiting Western Illinois, including a split of a doubleheader on Saturday. The two teams have only met once since 1994, and that was on Feb. 16, 2003, in Arlington, Texas. The Lobos won 10-2, but prior to that meeting had lost six of the previous seven contests between the two schools.
• Scouting Missouri St. ... The Bears (13-5) are coming off a home series win over Western Illinois. Offensively they have struggled at times as they are only hitting .262 as a team. Tate Matheny (.394), Luke Voit (.333), and Conor Smith (.310) are the only regulars hitting above .300. The trio also owns all five of the team’s home runs and six of the Bears’ 11 steals. Missouri St.’s pitchers have been nothing short of phenomenal They have seven pitchers who have thrown more than six innings that have an ERA under 2.50. They are holding opponents to a .238 batting average and as a staff own a 2.61 ERA. They have yet to allow a home run this season and have struck out 162 batters and issued only 56 walks. Not only have they yet to allow a home run, but they have also allowed only 26 extra base hits in 165.1 innings all season.
• Hit parade ... Senior catcher Mitch Garver carries a career-long 17-game hitting streak into the series against the Bears. He has a hit in every game this season except the opener against Oklahoma St. on Feb. 15. He has seven multi-hit games during the streak, including one game each with three and four hits. He is third on the Lobos in hitting, is tied for the team lead in doubles, is second in triples, and is third in RBI.
• Can't catch me ... Josh Melendez is one of two Lobos to reach base in every game this season, but he is on an even more impressive streak. Dating back to Feb. 24 last season, he has stolen his last 28 bases successfully. He stole 21 in a row to end the 2012 season, and so far in 2013 he is a perfect 7-7.
• Chasing DJ ... DJ Peterson currently leads or is tied for the lead in 11 offensive categories in the MW: batting, slugging, OBP, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, and walks.
• Compared to 2012 ... Through the same number of games last season, in 2013 the Lobo offense has a higher batting average, has scored 38 more runs, has hit more doubles and home runs, has higher slugging and on-base percentages, has hit into fewer double plays, and has stolen more bases at a better success rate. Their pitchers have struck out more batters than last season, in which they set a school record for strikeouts, and held opponents to a .285 batting average against, which is 20 points better than at this stage in 2012.
• Extra-inning blues ... In 2012 the Lobos had only three games all season go into extra frames, but they have already bested 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 1-3 and have been outscored 6-1 in the 10th through 13th innings. UNM recorded its first extra-inning win of the season March 15 at No. 21 UNLV when Josh Melendez drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning of a 3-2 affair.
• 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 from March 5 through March 10 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.