Mental errors plagued UNM’s baseball team against Oklahoma State last weekend.
In the first two games alone the Lobos committed a combined seven errors in two losses, but in the series finale the team had only one error in a 9-1 victory.
This weekend the Lobos (1-2) travel to Corpus Christi, Texas for the Kleberg Bank College Classic. Head coach Ray Birmingham said that as long as the Lobos stop having miscues, they stand a chance at winning the tournament.
“This past weekend we beat Oklahoma State up and down the field, but late in the game somebody would do something stupid that would cost us a ball game. We have to stop doing that,” he said. “If we just get out of our own way, we should just be fine.”
Four teams will participate in the round-robin tournament: UNM, No. 18 Oklahoma, Iowa and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Lobos will face the Islanders first today at 5 p.m., the Hawkeyes on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the Sooners on Sunday at 8:30 a.m.
The Islanders (3-2) are coming off a 19-4 loss to University of Texas-San Antonio on Wednesday. Senior pitcher Tim Keller will likely get the start against UNM on Friday. On the season, Keller has thrown five innings and allowed one earned run.
Birmingham said the most challenging aspect of the tournament will be the matchups.
“Every day you see a new team, so you really don’t have a feel for them,” he said. “You’ll have more of a feel for them after the game but you won’t play them again.”
University of Iowa (1-2) lost its first series of the season to Austin Peay but only allowed six earned runs against the Governors. Senior pitcher Matt Dermody, who will start against the Lobos on Saturday, earned the Hawkeyes their only victory by throwing five innings and allowing two hits.
The Sooners (6-0) swept a four-game series versus Hofstra University and hit .302 as a team in the series. OU has won seven straight games versus the Lobos. UNM senior shortstop Alex Allbritton said the team is anxious to play the Sooners.
“We’ve played them the last couple of years and every time we’ve played them they’ve swept us,” he said. “We’re looking forward to showing them that we can beat them this time.”
OU freshman starting pitcher Corey Copping is expected to get the start against UNM on Sunday. In his only outing of the year, Copping threw seven innings of one-run, two-hit ball in his collegiate debut last week.
Allbritton said the Sooners typically have one of the better pitching staffs in the nation.
“They’ve had a good overall team and they’re really fundamental, they’ve found ways to manufacture runs,” he said. “Their pitching usually shut us down.”