Lobos Win Both 6-4, 18-11 Over Cal State Fullerton
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s pitching staff made quick work of Cal State Fullerton in the resumption of Saturday’s weather delayed game, needed just 39 minutes to close out the final three innings of a 6-4 win before needing slightly longer as UNM’s bats came alive in an 18-11 win, giving UNM a pair of wins over Cal State Fullerton, clinching the weekend series and giving UNM another shot at a weekend sweep. The wins also gave UNM eight wins in the last nine games.
The Lobos improved to 10-4 on the season while Cal State Fullerton, ranked last week at No. 24, fell to 5-7, having lost four of its last five.
Starting yesterday at 6 p.m. with the temperature starting at 60 degrees but falling rapidly, the Lobos took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Jared Mang single that drove in Justin Watari, who had singled to open the game. The game stayed that way until the fourth inning, when Jeff Deimling unloaded a ball that probably would have gone out of the park, but took a ride on a 30 MPH wind trail for a three-run home run, his third home run in the last two games, and his second three-run shot.
The Lobos, up 4-0 at that point, added two more runs in the fifth inning with Watari and Mang in the middle of it again. Watari walked and was bunted over to second. He then came around when Jared Mang tripled to center to make it 5-0. Deimling that roped a shot to center off the wall for a double that made it 6-0.
At that point, the wind really picked up, and seemed to cause havoc with Justin Slaten, who cruised through the first five innings. In the sixth, he walked the first two hitters on nine pitches, and both moved up on a wild pitch. From there, they scored on a double by Daniel Cope, and that made it 6-2.
In the top of seventh, with rain coming down and the winds hitting gusts of over 50 miles per hour, Slaten tried to tough it out but the inning reads like a wind-aided comedy of errors. First there was a walk, and then Slaten tried to pick off Mitchell Berryhill, but his throw into the wind knuckled to first, and Berryhill made it to second easily. Another strikeout in the dirt followed, and then a passed ball and a walk came after that.
Hank LoForte than fisted a ball into right for a 6-3 lead, and at the point, in the midst of a pitching change, home plate umpire Asa Howard talked with both managers, and halted the proceedings until Saturday.
That was today, and with the same runners on first and third and Blake Walden now pitching, Walden’s pickoff throw got away, allowing the run to score, although first baseman Connor Mang recovered and got the out at second.
Walden than pitched through a bases loaded jam in the eighth unscathed before turning the ball over to closer Malachi Emond, who allowed a scratch single and that was it. The game ended on a nifty 6-4-3 double play that saw Hayden Schilling field a ball on the run and glove-flip the ball to Watari, who fired to first to end the game.
— UNM Baseball (@UNMLoboBaseball) March 10, 2019
The second game followed 45 minutes later, and it was basically over in 45 minutes as UNM’s Nathaniel Garley, perhaps goofed up by the game starting 30 minutes earlier than scheduled, allowed three first inning runs before settling down.
Trailing 3-0, UNM would score the next 17 runs over the first four innings, ending any drama very early. The hit parade started with a 6-run first inning. Connor Mang started the proceedings with a long three-run home run to tie the game with just one out, driving in Watari who singled and Schilling who walked.
Deimling singled to short, Tanner Baker singled to extend the inning with two outs before Reese O’Farrell continued his hot hitting with a single to make it 4-3. Adam Atkins then drove in his first two Lobo runs with a double to make it 6-3.
Kelly singled in a run in the second to make it 7-3, and then UNM scored five in the third and five in the fourth to put the game out of reach early.
In the third all five runs came after there were two out and no one on. Watari walked before Schilling doubled him home to make it 8-3. Jared Mang then traded places with Schilling on a double to make it 9-3. Connor Mang walked and that brought up Deimling, who obliterated a pitch deep into the Albuquerque sky for a long three-run homer, his fourth in three games. Suddenly it was 12-3.
UNM struck for five again in the fourth and it could have been worse. UNM loaded the bases with no on out for Schilling, who laced a liner to first that was inches from a three-run triple. Instead, first baseman Jacob Pavelitch made a sparkling catch and then dove to tag Watari for a double play.
No matter, UNM scored five runs again with two outs. Jared Mang singled in two runs, and after Connor Mang reached on an error and Deimling walked, Tyler Kelly singled again to make it 16-3. Baker than drove in Deimling to make it 17-3.
It was more than enough for Garley, who lasted five innings and allowed just those three runs in the first inning. UNM did allow Cal State Fullerton back in the game with a seven run sixth inning, but Nico Garza came in the squelch the drama, allowing just an unearned run. Brian Coffey then pitched the final two innings in perfect fashion, needing just 17 pitches to do it.
NOTES: Every starter in the regularly scheduled game got at least one hit, and eight of the nine had at least two … Jared Mang now has a 10-game hitting streak … both Mangs, Deimling and Kelly had at least three RBI … Deimling has four home runs and 14 RBI in his last three games.