Dye Brilliant in 4-3 Win Over San Diego State
Sunday – 1 p.m. MT – RHP Nathaniel Garley (2-2, 4.08) vs. RHP Jorge Fernandez (5-3, 3.35)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Five batters into the game, Cody Dye had a allowed a three-run home run, hit the ensuing Aztec batter, earned warning to both benches, and went to 2-0 on the next hitter. It did not look like it was going to be a day to remember for Dye.
Instead it turned into a pitching performance he and his Lobo teammates won’t soon forget. Dye bounced back to get out of the first, and then didn’t allow a run the rest of the way, and Justin Watari singled home the winning run in the sixth inning as New Mexico turned in a comeback 4-3 win over San Diego State, evening the weekend series at one game each.
The Lobos will go for a series win on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Santa Ana Star Field with Nathaniel Garley on the hill for UNM.
The game looked like it might be a high scoring affair, and that it might take forever. The opening inning saw each team score three times, saw both benches get warned, and saw a massive collision on a foul ball between a player and an umpire.
To open the first, Matt Rudick opened with a single and moved to second on a balk. David Hensley walked and then a ground ball to Garrett Gouldsmith turned into a force out at second. Jordan Virdon then unloaded on an 0-1 pitch with a long home run to right center for a 3-0 lead. Dye then plunked Dean Nevarez with the next pitch, earning a long talk from home plate umpire Anthony Prater, who then issued warnings to both benches.
After falling behind 2-0 to Julian Escobedo, pitching coach Ken Jacome came out for a chat, and Dye settled down after that, getting Escobedo to fly to center. After a single, Casey Schmitt flied to center to end the inning.
UNM got those three runs back in the first inning as the team finally caught a break after seemingly having everything go the other way during the year. Justin Watari led off with a single, but earlier in the at bat he lofted a catchable fly ball down the line in left. Schmitt, playing third, took off after the ball and was looking up when he plowed into umpire Jeff Cluff. Both were shaken up but both remained in the game.
Hayden Schilling walked, and then Watari went to third on a Connor Mang flyout. UNM finally caught a break when Mang broke for second on a 3-2 pitch to Danny Collier. The ball was going up the middle for a sure double play with the second baseman on the bad, but the ball deflected off the pitcher Logan Boyer’s glove. It caromed right to where the second baseman was previously and went for a short double, making it 3-1. After Chris Dunn struck out for the second out, Robby Campillo knocked in both runners with a double, his seventh and eighth RBIs in his last four starts.
That was Boyer’s only inning, as he was replaced by Justin Goossen-Brown. He and Dye were up to the task after that opening inning. Dye cruised through the fifth, at one time retired 12 of 13 batters he faced. His only real trouble occurred in the sixth inning after Nevarez and Escobedo opened with singles. Chad Bible showed bunt at first, but then swung away, popping up to Schilling at third. Back-to-back flyouts ended that threat as Dye used it to retire the final nine he faced, throwing 113 pitches.
— UNM Baseball (@UNMLoboBaseball) May 5, 2018
Dye left the game on the winning side of the ledger thank to an unearned run in the sixth. Campillo opened the inning with a shot to Schmitt at third, who did well to knock the ball down. However, after grabbing the ball and gathering himself, he threw wide of first for a costly error. Phillip Sikes failed to get a sacrifice down, eventually striking out, and Garrett Gouldsmith followed with a walk. Jacob Erickson relieved for the Aztecs, looking to get Brayden Merritt to hit into a double play. Merritt grounded to first, but he blazed down the line, just beating the 363 double play attempt.
That gave Justin Watari a chance to bat with runners on the corners. Watari worked the count full, fouling off a pair of two strike pitches before serving a single into right center, pushing home Campillo for a 4-3 lead.
Dye gave way to closer Christian Tripp in the ninth, and Tripp allowed a walk and a single, and with two down and runners on second and third, he rung up Hensley on a 3-2 pitch to end it.
Dye improved to 4-6, taking over the team lead in wins. Tripp earned his eighth save.
NOTES: UNM leads the series with SDSU 3-2 … Tripp moved into a tie with David Steinberg for sixth place in career appearances with 68 … the save was Tripp’s eighth of the year, and his 18th career save, two away from the UNM career record.