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Sunday, December 21, 2014

UNM baseball team goes error free in win over La Salle

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By Rachel Toraño-Mark / New Mexico Daily Lobo

UNM baseball head coach Ray Birmingham gives a thumbs up after the Lobos defeated La Salle 17-4 on Wednesday at Isotopes Park. The Lobos didn’t commit an error during the game for the first time all season.

sports@dailylobo.com
@ThomasRomeroS

It took the Lobo baseball team 10 games, but it finally happened.
A 17-4 defeat of La Salle University on Wednesday at Isotopes Park was the first time this season UNM did not have an error in a game.

On the year, the Lobos (4-6) have committed 23 errors. Head coach Ray Birmingham said it’s about time the team put together a complete defensive performance.

“It was exactly what we were cheering about — no errors,” he said.

UNM was ahead 5-0 after scoring four runs in the first inning and one in the second. La Salle cut the deficit to three with two runs in the top of the fourth.

The Lobos answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to push their edge to 8-2.

The Explorers (2-7) added another run in top of the fifth when sophomore infielder Mark Williams hit an RBI groundout. In the bottom of the sixth, senior outfielder Luke Campbell, junior outfielder John Pustay and senior shortstop Alex Allbritton each tallied an RBI to give UNM an 11-3 advantage.

Shortstop Kevin Baron had to take the mound for La Salle in the bottom of the eighth after freshman pitcher Collin McGowan gave up an RBI single to UNM center fielder Josh Melendez. Baron walked sophomore outfielder Tyler Kamtz; then up came third basemen DJ Peterson. On the first pitch, Peterson hit a three-run shot to left center field for a commanding 16-4 lead. Pustay added the last run for the Lobos on an RBI single for the final score of 17-4.

Sophomore Alex Real made his first start at catcher for the Lobos on Wednesday and said the squad has the potential to be great if it can stop the errors.

“Defense is so huge in the game, and we’re always going to put up the runs,” he said after a four-hit, three-RBI performance. “Our offense is always going to be there, but if we can keep up the defense, too, we’re going to be dangerous.”

Junior pitcher Anthony Consiglio was the winning pitcher for the Lobos after tossing 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Junior starting pitcher Jonathan Cuellar had his longest outing of the season going 3 1/3 innings, giving up one run with two hits, four strikeouts and three walks.

UNM employed seven pitchers total with freshman pitcher Drew Bridges throwing two shutout innings.

Starting today and continuing through the weekend, UNM will face UC Riverside (7-5) in a four-game series at Isotopes Park. The Highlanders have won four straight games and defeated Loyola Marymount 6-4 on Tuesday.