“I think we had a couple of post plays that we scored on, and we got that late field goal,” head coach Andy Lopez joked. “It was an ugly game from all aspects.
“We’re nine games into the season and we need to be getting better with each one. I haven’t seen the improvement that I’d like, but that’s good to know. We’ll come up with a plan and get back after it at practice on Tuesday.”
The two schools slugged it out in nearly every inning on Sunday, combining for 35 runs on 38 hits off of 11 different pitchers. At least one run was scored in all but four half innings of play.
Falling behind 5-2 after the first two and a half innings,
The Wildcats, who sent 14 hitters to the plate in the third, managed just four hits in the frame, but took advantage of three walks, three hit batters and pair of costly
The Lobos had a chance to limit the damage after surrendering one run early in the inning, but a potential double play ball was thrown away by shortstop Ryan Barba for the first defensive miscue and a fielding error by first baseman Daniel Stovall later on allowed a pair of runs to score and extend the frame.
The five-run Arizona advantage lasted all of two outs as UNM cut the lead to one at 10-9 on a sacrifice fly by Chris Carlson and a three-run homer by Stovall in the top of the fourth.
Led by two-run hits by Eric Berger and Bill Rhinehart, the Wildcats added five runs on six hits in the bottom of the fifth for a 15-9 lead, before scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh and one in the eighth for its final 19-run total.
After failing to score in the fifth, UNM resiliently chipped away at the UA lead over the final four innings, scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh, two in the eighth and three in the ninth, and had runners on second and third and the tying run at the plate in the final inning before finally succumbing.
Offensively 17 of the 18 starters in the game finished with at least one hit in the contest. UA’s Brad Boyer (3 for 7, 2 R, 3 RBI), Jon Gaston (3 for 5, 2 R, RBI), Rhinehart (3 for 4, R, 3 RBI) and Colt Sedbrook (3 for 5, R, 2 RBI) all finished with three hits on the day. Sedbrook hit his first home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the eighth.
UA’s Derek Decater led all players with four runs scored. The senior outfielder managed just one hit in three at-bats, but drew a game-high four walks. His four free passes were the most in a game for a UA player since former Wildcats Ken Riley and Chris Cunningham walked four times each against
UNM’s Stovall finished the game 2 for 5 with his second home run of the year and five RBI. Jordan Pacheco and Carlson added home runs for the Lobos.
UNM starter Darren Coltrinari (0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up seven runs, five earned, on three hits in two innings. He struck out one, walked three and hit three batters before being lifted in the third inning.