An eighth inning in which Central Michigan scored five runs to bring the game within just one run, the University of New Mexico baseball team saw a clutch ninth inning from Christian Tripp on the mound.
The junior closer, after coming in as relief in a tumultuous eighth inning for sophomore reliever Nathaniel Garley, struck out the side to give UNM the 8-7 win on Saturday afternoon at Santa Ana Star Field. The win was the Lobos’ third straight over the Chippewas, winning the first game on Thursday and again on Friday.
Freshman Robert Gasser got the start on the mound for the Lobos, and threw three shutout innings to start the game.
Meanwhile, the Lobos’ offense scored their first runs in the bottom of the second inning. After junior Larry Leitha doubled with one out, freshman Chris Dunn hit an RBI single to put UNM up 1-0. Again the Lobos got another single, to put runners on first and third. After senior Danny Collier got on base on a fielder’s choice, he scored the runner on third in the process to put UNM up by two runs.
Central Michigan scored two runs in the top of the fourth, first on a hit that went into a double play with the runner from third coming home. Then, on an RBI triple. It tied the game at two runs apiece.
UNM would have none of that, though, and quickly added another two runs in the bottom of the fourth. A single from Jeremy Conant led off the frame. After an out with Conant still on first, Dunn tripled to left center, scoring Conant in the process. Dunn would then score on a fly out from freshman Garrett Gouldsmith to make it 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth and seventh innings, the Lobos added another four runs to go up by a total of six, making it 8-2.
But Central Michigan, in the eighth inning, added another five to give UNM an 8-7 lead. Tripp, in that same inning, came in as relief and to close for Garley.
UNM still came out victorious after a clutch pitching performance from Tripp in the ninth inning, to give UNM its fourth overall win this season.
In total, UNM had 11 hits. Central Michigan had 13. Leading the Lobos at the plate was Dunn, who went 3-for-3 with two runs, two RBI and two triples. Collier was the only other hitter with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a double.
Gasser picked up the win—his first of the season. And Tripp, in the process, picked up his second save this season.
The Lobos will finish their series against Central Michigan on Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m.
Matthew Narvaiz is a senior sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.