Lobos Travel to Air Force to Resume Conference Play
April 4, 2012
Lobo Baseball - at Falcon Field in Colorado Springs, Colo.
When: Thursday 3:00 p.m. (MT), Friday 3:00 p.m. (MT), Saturday 12:00 p.m. (MT)
Who: Air Force Falcons
GoLobos.com: Gametracker, recap and stats
Radio: ESPN 101.7 The Team will broadcast each game live
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UNM travels to Colorado Springs, Colo., to resume Mountain West play. The Lobos currently lead the conference with a 5-1 record and will look to improve on that as they face the Falcons, who are currently on a five-game losing streak. The Lobos are looking to bounce back after two-straight tough defeats this week: 4-3 at Fresno State on Sunday, and 7-5 at New Mexico State Tuesday evening.
Against Air Force: UNM has not lost to Air Force in 20 games (since March 30, 2006), and have won 14 consecutive series against the Falcons. It is their longest current winning streak against a Division I team. It has been nearly a decade since the Lobos lost a series to Air Force (April 19-21, 2002).
Series Record: 111-40
Home: 66-14; Away: 42-23; Neutral: 3-2
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 seventh weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 36 after hosting Stephen F. Austin for two midweek games last week.
When the going gets tough ... Since 2010, the Lobos have faced an incredibly difficult slate of games. Their schedule has included 38 games against nationally-ranked teams and 10 against teams that had won the national championship.
Four and counting... Following their series victory over Fresno St., the Lobos have now won four-consecutive weekend series. They swept #22 and previously undefeated Gonzaga from Mar. 9-11, they swept San Diego St. to open Mountain West play from Mar. 16-18, they took two games from TCU to win their first ever home series against the Horned Frogs from Mar. 23-25, and took two of three from the 2008 national champions, Fresno St., for their first road series win of the season from Mar. 30 - Apr. 1.
Scouting Air Force ... The Falcons are in the midst of a five-game losing streak. They are led offensively by Garrett Custons, a first-team All-Mountain West selection at catcher last season. He is bat- ting .376 with 11 doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 14 RBI. He has also scored nearly a quarter (26 of 109) of the Falcons' runs this season. He is one of the few bright spots, however. As a whole the team is only batting .228, The pitching staff is anchored by Cameron White. He his 2-4 with a 2.70 ERA, which is good for second in the MW. Additionally, he has only walked six batters in 46.2 innings pitched, which is the most innings pitched by a player in the MW this season.
Fight, Scratch, Claw ... Your way to Omaha. It is a motto for the Lobos, and they are currently projected to make the NCAA tournament as the Mountain West champions by PerfectGame.org. It is the fourth-straight year they have been projected to make the postseason. If UNM does indeed make the field of 64, it would be the third consecutive year the school has ac- complished that feat, which would extend the school record.
Conference Leaders ... Following their series victory over Fresno St., the Lobos lead the Mountain West in 11 indi- vidual offensive categories, with DJ Peter- son leading the way in six: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, home runs, and total bases. Josh Melendez leads in four: runs, triples, steals and steal attempts. Mitchell Garver leads the league in doubles. As a team they lead the league in six categories: batting average, slugging percentage, total bases, triples, home runs, and stolen bases. Their pitching staff also leads in three categories: strike outs, batters struck out looking, and runners picked off. Austin House is tied for the league lead in starts, Gera Sanchez is tied for the league lead in wins, and Sanchez leads the conference in games finished with 12.
K machines ... Austin House and Gera Sanchez combined to strike out 16 batters against Fresno St. in the first game of a doubleheader on April 1. It was the first time UNM pitchers had struck out more than 15 batters in one game since doing so against UTSA on Apr. 4, 2004. Sanchez is currently striking out 13.1 batters per nine innings. That would rank fourth in the nation if he had pitched enough innings.
Situational Hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .603 (41-68) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .467 (14-30) with the bases loaded, and .350 (123-351) with two outs.
Hit your way to the top ... Sophomore DJ Peterson entered the week fourth in the entire NCAA in batting with a .464 average, which he leads all underclassmen. Peterson also ranks 10th in the NCAA in slugging at .763. Ryan Padilla is fourth in batting among all freshmen in the NCAA with a .408 average. Peterson and Padilla also rank one-two in the Mountain West.
Team of the week ... UNM was honored by collegebaseballinsider.com as the West Region Team of the Week following their series victory over No. 19 TCU last weekend. It was the first time the Lobos had won a home series against the Horned Frogs, and moved UNM into sole posses- sion of first place in the Mountain West.
Three's company ... For the third straight week a Lobo has been honored as Player of the Week by the Mountain West Conference. Junior Mitchell Garver won the award after hitting .417 (5-12) in the Lobos first-ever home series win over TCU. Garver also scored seven runs, drove in three, had one double, one triple, and hit his third home run of the season. He has at least two hits in five of his last six games, and has seen his average climb 57 points during that stretch.
Peterson enters beast mode ... DJ Peterson, a 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 percent- age. 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.