The series-opening win for the Lobos ended a streak for the Wildcats that started in 1997 and improved UNM to 4-2 on the year.
The Lobos roughed up UA starter Mark Melancon (1-1) for six runs on eight hits over five innings, took advantage of four errors committed by the UA defense and picked off two Wildcat base runners in the game.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “We made a lot of young mistakes, but we need to start making progress and getting ?'old’. We need to cut down on the mental and physical errors and slow the game down.
“Tip your cap to
Leadoff hitter Jordan Pacheo, left fielder Jay Russell and DH Chris Carlson all followed with run-scoring hits to tie the game at 3-3 before the Wildcats even recorded the first out.
A one-out grounder to first by Matt Foote later in the inning added another run to hand UNM a one-run lead.
Aided by three fielding errors,
The Wildcats closed within one run in the seventh inning on Jason Donald’s two-out, two-run triple to right, but fell short of tying the game in the frame when DH Eric Berger grounded out to second to end the inning.
Reliever Chad Itokazu bridged the gap over the next 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Miller who picked up his first save after recording the final two outs in the ninth.
A bright spot for the Wildcats was the work of freshman reliever Preston Guilmet. The right-hander shut down the Lobo offense to the tune of one hit over the final four innings. He struck out four and walked none.
Offensively, UNM out-hit
The two schools will meet up for the second game of the three-game set on Saturday at 1 p.m. Berger will take the mound as the starting pitcher for the Wildcats.