Lobos Fall 10-4 at No. 11 Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas — New Mexico pitchers combined for 11 walks, and that damage proved too much as UNM hung with Texas Tech but ultimately fell 10-4 in Lubbock to the No. 11 Red Raiders at Rip Griffin Park.
New Mexico, which has not played a conference series in four weeks, finally returns to Mountain West play with a home weekend series with Fresno State. UNM will be looking for some revenge against the Bulldogs, who took two of three against the Lobos in early March. The lone UNM win in that series was a brilliant 1-0 10-inning win in which Justin Armbruester carried a no-hitter into the eighth and pitched nine innings, striking out 17 and allowing two hits and one walk.
A four-walk first and a four-walk fifth were the harbingers of doom for Lobo pitching. In the first, Nathaniel Garley, a weekend starter that opened the game, allowed just one hit, but it was a three-run home run that scored a pair of walks. He was relieved by Isiah Campa after hitting his pitch limit, and a hit, two more walks and a wild pitch made it 4-0.
It moved to 7-0 after two when Campa allowed a triple and a single to make it 5-0 and then Arthur Steinkamp entered and threw two effective innings, although he allowed a two-run shot to make it 7-0.
UNM got on the board in the fourth, but some odd luck prevented a bigger inning. Adam Schneider beat out an infield single to become UNM’s first base runner after Tech pitching has retired the Lobos in order the first time through the lineup. Mack Chambers then singled and Kyle Landers bunting both over.
Jack Silverman followed with a high deep drive to the deepest part of left center, but the ball hit about seven feet up on the eight-foot wall and bounced right back to the center fielder. Chambers had to hold up and only made it to third on the double, making it second and third again, with Schneider scoring to get UNM on the board but a strikeout and a pop out ended the threat.
Tech then got to Aaron Makil in the fifth, his second inning of work. Makil coaxed two ground outs to start the frame, but then a home run, a double and four walks (one issued by reliever Chezzare Gonzales made it 10-1.
UNM got one back on a long home run from Chambers in the sixth, and then UNM rallied with two down in the ninth. Pinch hitter Jacob Gutierrez doubled and fellow pinch hitter Lance Russell singled him home. After a wild pitch, Chase Weissenborn bounced a ball over pitcher Connor Queen for a single, and Queen’s throw to first was off the mark, allowing Russell to scamper home. With the score 10-4, a wild pitch and a walk to Connor Mang made it first and second and Texas Tech’s bullpen got moving, but Mack Chambers struck out after fouling off three pitches to end it.
UNM pitching allowed just nine hits to the hard-hitting Red Raider offense, but the 11 walks hurt. UNM did record eight strikeouts, and Chambers led the way offensively with a 2-for-4 day and a home run.