Lobo Baseball Hosts Conference Rival TCU
March 21, 2012
Lobo Baseball - at home in Isotopes Park
When: Friday 6 p.m. (MT), Saturday 2 p.m. (MT), Sunday 1 p.m. (MT)
Who: TCU Horned Frogs
GoLobos.com: Gametracker, recap and stats
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobo baseball team takes on pre-season conference favorite TCU this weekend with game one taking place at 6 p.m. MT Friday at Isotopes Park. The Horned Frogs and Lobos have been at or near the top of the conference for the better part of the last five seasons with TCU usually having the upper hand. Last year, however, the Lobos got some pay back as the defeated TCU twice in the MW Tournament en route to the MW title and an automatic NCAA bid. The Lobos and the Horned Frogs were the only teams from the MW to make the NCAA tourney last year. This series will be the first of two between the teams this year. Both are tied atop the MW with identical 3-0 records coming into this weekend.
• GameTracker, box score and recap will all be available on GoLobos.com.
• ESPN 101.7 The Team will not be picking up the coverage of these games as originally scheduled due to conflict with the NCAA basketball tournament.
Against TCU: UNM trails in the all-time series against the Horned Frogs. The two teams met eight times last season with the result ending in TCU taking six games from the Lobos. The two games the Lobos took from TCU were the ones that mattered, however, as UNM beat TCU twice to win the MW Tounament and earn an auto-bid into the NCAA’s.
Series Record: 15-37
Home: 4-17; Away: 9-18; Neutral: 2-2
Up Next: UNM will host Stephen F. Austin in a two-game midweek series beginning Tuesday March 27.
LOBO BASEBALL QUICK HITS
• We Really Are New Mexico ... The 2012 New Mexico baseball team has 13 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.
• UNM top 40 in attendance ... The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association released its weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 37 after hosting their second home weekend series against Oklahoma.
• Lobos Sweep Weekly MW Awards ... New Mexico first baseman D.J. Peterson and right-hander Austin House earned Mountain West Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for games played from March 12-18, 2012.
SCOUTING TCU ... The Horned Frogs have won their last nine games, including a three-game sweep last weekend against UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev. Offensively TCU is led by outfielder Kyle Von Tungeln and catcher Josh Elander, each of whom is batting over .360. The real strength of the Horned Frogs, though, is their pitching staff. Their staff ERA is 3.16 and they have allowed only 54 earned runs all season. Opponents are only batting .232 against them.
CONFERENCE LEADERS ... Following their sweep of San Diego State, the Lobos lead the MWC in 12 individual offensive categories, with DJ Peterson leading the way in eight of those: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, runs batted in, doubles (tied with teammate Mitchell Garver), home runs, and total bases. Josh Melendez is second to Peterson in five of those categories, and leads the league in four: runs scored, triples, stolen bases and steal attempts. As a team they lead the league in eight categories: batting average, slugging percentage, doubles, triples, home runs, total bases, stolen bases, and steal attempts.
BRING OUT THE BROOMS ... The Lobos swept their second consecutive series when they swept MWC foe San Diego State March 16-18. It was the first time the Lobos swept back-to-back series since they defeated Binghamton and UNLV over five games from March 22-27, 2011.
SPEAKING OF SWEEPS ... UNM swept the MWC Player and Pitcher of the Week awards for the second straight week as they went 3-1 with a loss to New Mexico St. and a sweep of SDSU. First baseman DJ Peterson and right-hander Austiner House were honored. Peterson won for the second-straight week. He went 10-15 (.667) over four games with five walks, two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, and six runs scored. House earned his first victory of the season over the Aztecs in an 11-2 victory. He pitched seven innings and allowed only two unearned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four. He has not allowed an earned run spanning the last 21 1/3 innings over his last three starts.
PETERSON ENTERS BEAST MODE ... the sophomore from Gilbert, Ariz., earned MW and College Baseball Inside Player of the Week Awards after batting .667 (10-15) for the week (March 12-18) as the Lobos went 3-1, including a three-game series sweep of San Diego State to begin Conference play. In Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to New Mexico State, Peterson was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two walks. Against SDSU in Friday’s series opener, Peterson was a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored, four RBI and two home runs in the 11-9 win. In four games during the previous week, Peterson and the Lobos went 3-1 including a three-game sweep of 22nd ranked and previously undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. Peterson went 10 for 16 (.625 average) with two doubles, a HR, seven singles, five runs, six RBI’s, .632 OBP, and an astounding .875 slugging percentage. Peterson played a crucial role in the sweep for the Lobos. Against New Mexico State alone, Peterson had 5 RBI’s in that one game. He earned three weekly awards for his efforts: College Baseball 360 Prime Time Performer, MW Player of the Week and College Sports Madness MW Player of the Week.
FLEET OF FOOT ... After stealing two bases against NMSU, senior Ben Woodchick has set a new personal career-high with six. He only had four career steals coming into this season.
TAKE TWO ... Josh Melendez stole home against NMSU for his second swipe of home this season. He also stole home against UTSA on Feb. 25.
LOBOS SWEEP WEEKLY MW AWARDS ... New Mexico first baseman D.J. Peterson and right-hander Gera Sanchez earned Mountain West Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for games played from March 5-11, 2012. It is the second career honor for both players. Peterson hit .562 (9-for-16) as the Lobos went 3-1 on the week, including a three-game sweep of Gonzaga. Peterson hit safely in all four games, starting the week with a 3-for-4, five RBI, two-run performance in a 16-12 loss at New Mexico State. Sanchez, a senior from Las Cruces, N.M., earned two wins in three relief appearances for the Lobos last week. Sanchez threw one and a third innings against NMSU on Tuesday, striking out every batter he faced. His first win of the week was on Friday against Gonzaga, pitching three innings without giving up a run. He only allowed one hit, one walk and struck out five batters on a season-high 53 pitches. For the week, Sanchez had 10 strikeouts, one walk, one hit allowed and no runs allowed in five and a third innings of work. The Lobos have now had three players earn Player of the Week honors already in 2012 compared to four all year last season.
MELENDEZ THINKS IN THREES ... Josh Melendez already has four triples in 18 games this season. No UNM player had more than three triples last year.
WOODY’S STREAK ENDS... Senior Ben Woodchick’s streak of reaching base came to an end March 10 against Gonzaga. Woodchick had reached base in 31 consecutive games, dating to last season, before he failed to reach base against the Bulldogs.
RUNNING WILD ... The Lobos have totaled 25 stolen bases in 18 games this year compared to 29 stolen bases in 61 games in 2011. Newcomer Josh Melendez leads the way with eight, which would have lead the team last year. He is stealing at an impressive clip as well, converting on eight of nine attempts.
FOLLOW MY LEAD ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 59 of the 159 innings they’ve played so far this season. That is an on-base percentage of .371.
SPEED DEMONS ... Two Lobos, junior Josh Melendez and senior Ben Woodchick, stole home in the series against UTSA. It was the first time a Lobo had stolen home since Alex Allbritton accomplished the feat against Northern Colorado on Feb. 28, 2010.
RECORD START ... Starting CF Josh Melendez set a UNM record under coach Ray Birmingham by reaching base in his first seven plate appearances of the season. It’s the most consecutive times reaching base to start a season and to start a career under Birmingham. DJ Peterson has since broken that record after reaching base eight-straight times in the series vs. SDSU March 16-18