Bats, Arms on Full Display in DH Sweep 13-3, 7-4
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico Lobo baseball team has always been one of the top hitting teams in the nation. The 2019 version of the Lobos can still hit, but they can also pitch. UNM got a solid six innings in game one from Brian Coffey, and freshman Tristin Lively allowed just one hit in five innings in his first collegiate start as UNM swept a Sunday doubleheader with Niagara 13-3 and 7-4, improving to 5-3 on the season.
UNM rapped out 19 hits and 20 runs in 14 2/3 innings of offense in sweeping the twin bill and running the teams’ winning streak to three in a row heading into a Wednesday road game at Arizona.
In game one, Coffey got the start, and struggled out of the gate. After getting the first two men to open the first, he allowed three straight two out hits as Niagara took a 2-0 lead. That lead was quickly erased in the bottom half of the frame. Justin Watari served a single to left, and then Hayden Schilling laced a double down the opposite field line to score Watari. After Jared Mang walked and a couple of outs, Tyler Kelly came up with two outs and runners on second and third. Kelly lined a single up the middle for a 3-2 lead, and UNM would never trail again.
UNM would score three more in the second and three more in the third. In the second, Connor Mang got a hold of one and hammered it out of the park to left for a three-run shot and a 6-2 lead. Up 7-2 in the third, and again with two outs, Mang found himself up with the bases loaded, and he skied a 140-foot pop up to short right center that somehow fell between three fielders for a two-run double and a 9-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Coffey picked up his game on the mound, allowing just a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. He retired seven of the last eight men he faced, and the lone man to reach was erased on a double play. Overall Coffey allowed nine hits and three runs in six innings, throwing 104 pitches and striking out three.
He gave way in the seventh to Drew Marrufo, who worked around a pair of one-out singles and a wild pitch to escape undamaged. UNM would end the game in the seventh via a 10-run rule, put in place because of the back-to-back doubleheaders. The big blow in the inning was a two-out bases clearing triple by Jared Mang which made it 12-3. Mang than scored on a wild pitch to end the game.
In game two, the hero was Lively, who made his first career start, and it was a dandy. Mixing his pitches, Lively was virtually unhittable, allowing just a line drive single up the middle in the fourth inning. Overall, he allowed four base runners but he coaxed three double plays, so over his five innings he faced just one over the minimum. Lively threw just 74 pitches in his first start.
He was staked to a 6-0 lead when he departed as UNM’s offense took advantage of poor fielding by Niagara. In the third it was just UNM’s bats doing the damage, as Jared Mang’s double scored Hayden Schilling in a bang-bang play at the plate, and after a balk, Mang walked home on Tanner Baker’s sacrifice fly. In the third, UNM scored without a hit on a hit batter, a walk and two flyouts. That hit batter was UNM catcher Reece O’Farrell, who was beaned on an 0-2 pitch that got away. He came out for pinch runner Micah Pietila-Wiggs, and then Ediberto Reyes made his collegiate debut behind the plate.
In the fifth, UNM broke it open, taking advantage of three errors by the Purple Eagles. The inning opened when Baker reached on an error, and Connor Mang then reached on an infield single, with the ball being thrown short for another error. Jeff Deimling then drove both men home with a single, and he scooted to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error. He then came home on Reyes’ first career hit.
Niagara got back into the game with a single run in seventh on a sacrifice fly, and then two in the eighth on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. With the game at 6-3 and the tying run at the plate with two outs, Ray Birmingham called upon Malachi Emond to end the threat, and it took just one pitch. He got Benny Serrano to ground out harmlessly to Watari at second to end that threat.
UNM than put another insurance run on the board in the eighth. With two outs and Watari on third and Jared Mang on first, Mang was picked off, but he stayed alive long enough for Watari to score. Emond allowed a run in the ninth but earned his second save of the season.
For the day, the Mang brothers were nearly unstoppable. Jared went 2-for-6 with five runs scored and four RBI, while Connor went 5-for-8 with five runs batted in.