Lobos Travel to Battle UNLV

May 9, 2012

Series Notes: Lobos at UNLV Get Acrobat Reader

Lobo Baseball - at Wilson Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev.
When: Friday 7:05 p.m. (MT), Saturday 3:05 p.m. (MT), Sunday 2:05 p.m. (MT)
Who: UNLV Rebels
GoLobos.com: Gametracker, recap and stats
TV: The Mtn. will be televising Friday night's game live.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Lobos hit the road for their final three away dates of the 2012 regular season. UNM remains tied for first place with TCU in the Mountain West standings with a 13-5 record as the teams vie for the regular-season championship and the No.1 seed in the conference tournament. The Lobos are trying to win their first regular-season championship since the 2000 season. The Rebels, meanwhile, are fighting just to make the conference tournament, which they are hosting May 24-27. Only the top four teams in the MW will make it, and the UNLV is sitting in fourth place only a game and a half up on fifth-place Air Force.

Against UNLV: The Lobos swept the Rebels in a weekend series Apr. 27-29 at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque. UNM outscored UNLV 36-10 over the three games. But the Lobos have historically struggled in Las Vegas. The Lobos have not won a game in there since a 6-2 victory over the Rebels on Apr. 3, 2010.

Series Record: 58-77

Home: 30-19; Away: 27-57; Neutral: 1-1


• Scouting UNLV ... The Rebels are in a tight battle with Air Force for the fourth and final spot in the Mountain West tournament, which they are hosting, May 24-27. They are coming off a weekend series at San Diego State that saw them drop the open- ing two games before winning the series finale 5-4. The Rebels are the second-leading hitting team in the MW behind only the Lobos, and the lead the conference with a whopping 107 doubles. Brandon Bayardi and Trevor Cook lead the way with .381 and .369 averages, respectively. Bayardi leads the team in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and total bases. Cook has scored the most runs and is right behind Bayardi in hits and slugging. Their pitching staff is anchored by freshman Erick Fedde, who has a 2.77 ERA, is holding opponents to a .248 batting average, and leads the team with 74.2 innings pitched. In an 11-4 loss to UNM on Apr. 27, Fedde allowed five runs, only two of which were earned, in six innings without walking a single batter. Sophomore Buddy Borden leads the team in strikeouts with 59 in only 50.2 innings.

• 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 12th weekly attendance report of the season and the New Mexico Lobos have come in at No. 39 following their home series against UNLV.

• National leaders ... DJ Peterson currently leads the nation in total bases (147), while Mitchell Garver leads all catchers in the NCAA in hits (75), doubles (20), and total bases (119).

• Watch out for Peterson ... Sophomore DJ Peterson has been named to USA Baseball's mid-season watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the best amateur baseball player in the nation.

• Two-strike hitting ... Fifteen of the Lobos' 32 home runs this season have come with two strikes: DJ Peterson (eight of his 14 total), Mitchell Garver (2/6), John Pustay (2/3), Josh Melendez' (1/3), Alex Real (1/1), and Alex Allbritton (1/1) have all hit a two-strike home run this season.

• Late-inning mastery ... The Lobos have yet to lose a game this season when they have taken a lead into the seventh inning, posting a perfect 22-0 record. They have been particularly dominant in the seventh inning, out-scoring opponents 42-16 in that frame.

• Career years ... Four UNM players are currently experiencing career-highs in batting averages in 2012: DJ Peterson (.425), Mitchell Garver (.371), Ben Woodchick (.326), and Trey Porras (.322). Also, four UNM pitchers have career-low ERAs this season: Gera Sanchez (1.77), Austin House (3.05), Alexis Garza (4.97), and Jake McCasland (5.82).

• Pitching as a team ... As of May 7 the Lobos' team ERA stands at 4.54, which would be the lowest team ERA UNM has had since producing a 4.13 mark in 1977. The staff is also on pace for 430 strikeouts, which would be the second-most in program history behind only 469 Ks in 1968. Gera Sanchez and Austin House are leading the way with 73 and 69 Ks respectively.

• Situational hitting ... The Lobos are hitting an astonishing .687 (92-134) with a runner on third and less than two outs. They are also hitting .411 (23-56) with the bases loaded, and .344 (209-607) with two outs.

• Follow my lead ... The Lobos have had their leadoff man reach in 175 of the 422 innings they've played so far this season. That is an on-base percentage of .415.

• Conference leaders ... Following their series against TCU, the Lobos lead the Mountain West in 13 individual offensive categories, with sophomore first baseman DJ Peterson leading the way in six: batting average, slugging percentage, hits, home runs, RBI, and total bases. Junior Mitchell Garver leads the conference in doubles, at-bats, and total plate appearances. Josh Melendez leads in runs scored, triples, steals and steal attempts. Kyle Stiner is tied for the most sacrifice bunts. As a team they lead the league in 13 categories: batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, hits, runs batted in, triples, home runs, total bases, sacrifice flies, stolen bases, steal attempts, and they have the fewest strikeouts. Their pitching staff leads the conference in both total strikeouts and batters struck out looking and is tied with TCU for allowing the fewest triples. Austin House leads the league in innings pitched and in batters struck out looking. Gera Sanchez leads the league in ERA and has allowed the fewest runs and earned runs among all qualified pitchers. He is also tied for the league lead in fewest hits allowed. The Lobos also lead the league in fielding percentage and have committed the fewest errors. Alex Allbritton has been involved in turning 31 double plays, which also leads the MW.

• Running wild ... The Lobos have totaled 52 stolen bases in 48 games this year compared to 29 stolen bases in 61 games in 2011. Newcomer Josh Melendez leads the way with 19, which would have lead the team last year. He is stealing at an impres- sive clip as well, converting on 19 of 20 attempts.

• Comeback kids ... When the Lobos scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Texas Tech 14-13 on Apr. 25, it was the first time UNM had scored at least four runs in the bottom of the ninth and pull out a comeback win since Mar. 18, 2005, when they scored four in the ninth to defeat BYU 6-5.