Lobos Return Home to Face No. 21 Arizona St.

April 9, 2012

Series Notes: Lobos vs. Arizona St. Get Acrobat Reader

Lobo Baseball - at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.
Monday 6:00 p.m. (MT), Tuesday 7:05 p.m. (MT)
Arizona State Sun Devils
Gametracker, recap and stats
Radio: ESPN 101.7 The Team will broadcast Monday's game live
TV: CBS SportsNetwork will broadcast Tuesday's game live

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico baseball team returns home for its first home games in nearly two weeks. The Lobos are currently in the midst of a stretch that sees them play 12 of 14 games on the road. They are 4-3 during that stretch so far. The Lobos are looking to continue their dominant pitching that helped them take two of three from Air Force. The staff allowed only three runs on 21 hits in 26 innings while striking out 35.

Against Arizona State: The Lobos are currently on a seven-game losing streak against the Sun Devils. The teams met four times last season, with each game taking place in Tempe, Ariz. Their last meeting last season was in the NCAA Regionals on June 3. The Lobos took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth but Joey DiMichele hit a walk-off, three- run home run to give ASU the victory.

Series Record: 111-40

Home: 66-14; Away: 42-23; Neutral: 3-2


• 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 eighth weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 37.

• Five and counting ... Following their series victory over Air Force, the Lobos have now won five-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, they 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, and now defeated Air Force in two of three games Apr. 5-7. This is the longest consecutive weekend series wins for the Lobos since they won six-straight during the 2010 season.

• Scouting the Sun Devils ... Arizona State is coming off a three-game home sweep of No. 17 Oregon State. The Sun Devils had three players named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list: Joey DiMichele, Deven Marrero, and Brady Rodgers. The Golden Spikes Award is given annually to the country’s top amateur baseball player. DiMichele leads ASU with a .371 average and has seven doubles, four triples and five home runs. Abe Ruiz is the Sun Devils’ main power threat with eight home runs, 12 doubles and a .667 slugging percentage. Rodgers anchors a superb pitching staff that has a collective ERA of 2.62 and is holding opponents to a .232 batting average with only eight home runs allowed. Rodgers is 5-1 with three complete games and a Bob Gibson-esque 1.12 ERA. Closer Jake Barrett has five saves, a 1.56 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.

• Pustay ties record ... Sophomore outfielder John Pustay tied a UNM record against Air Force on Apr. 5 with six hits. He finished the game 6-6 with four runs, five RBIs, a double and a home run. He is currently on a nine-game hitting streak and has seen his average improve from .192 on Mar. 28 to .333.

• Mountain West honors ... DJ Peterson and Austin House have been named Co-Player and Co-Pitcher of the Week respectively in the Mountain West. This is the third time Peterson has won the award this season and is House’s second win. Peterson, a sophomore, hit .474 (9-19) during the Lobos’ four games last week. Since Feb. 25, he is batting .505 (51-101) and is now hitting .466 on the season. He entered last week fourth in the nation in batting. House, a junior, pitched his first career shutout during UNM’s 19-0 win over Air Force. He struck out a career-high 10 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.75. He leads the conference with 48 strikeouts and 52.1 innings pitched.

• ‘Bos know pitching ... During the team’s series at Air Force Apr. 5-7, UNM pitchers allowed only three runs on 21 hits while striking out 35 in 26 innings and set a new school record in the process. It was the fewest runs allowed in a three-game road series in the program’s history. It was also the fewest runs the school has allowed in a Mountain West series. The three runs also marked the fewest runs UNM has allowed in any three-game series since giving up only one to Northern Arizona from Mar. 10- 11, 1972.

• ‘Bos know hitting ... The pitching staff had some help from the offense against Air Force. UNM exploded for 19 runs in game one and 17 more in game two. It was the most runs the Lobos had scored in consecutive games since scoring 37 against Coppin State Apr. 17-18, 2010. In game one John Pustay tied a school record with six hits. DJ Peterson had two doubles and two home runs. He is the only Lobo to record four extra-base hits in one game since Justin Howard did so against San Diego St. on May 2, 2010. Peterson also recorded two doubles and two home runs against TCU May 20, 2011. Spanning the first and second games against Air Force, Peterson reached base in 10-consecutive plate appearances (seven hits, three walks). It is the longest streak for a Lobo under head coach Ray Birmingham. Freshman Ryan Padilla also extended his hitting streak to a team-high 15 games in game two, before seeing it snapped during the series finale.

• ‘Bos in the pros ... Former UNM star Jordan Pacheco made his first-career Major League start for the Colorado Rockies against the Houston Astros on Sunday, April 8. Pacheco, a native of Albuquerque, was a ninth-round pick of the Rockies in 2007. That same year he was named the Mountain West Player of the Year as well as to two All-American teams. He finished his Lobo career with a .384 average in 167 games. He scored 207 runs, smoked 59 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs, drove in 145 runs and only struck out 91 times in over 800 plate appearances.

• 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 accom- plished that feat, which would extend the school record.

• Conference leaders ... Following their series victory over Air Force, the Lobos lead the Mountain West in 13 individual offensive categories, with DJ Peterson leading the way in eight: batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, home runs, total bases, and runs bat- ted in. He is tied for the conference lead in doubles with teammate Mitchell Garver. Josh Melendez leads in five categories: runs, triples, sacrifice flies, steals and steal attempts. As a team they lead the league in eight categories: batting average, slugging percentage, hits, total bases, triples, home runs, sacrifice flies, 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 fin- ished with 12.

• Situational hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .628 (54-86) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .462 (18-39) with the bases loaded, and .350 (138-394) with two outs.