The University of New Mexico baseball fell below .500 on the season after losing 7-2 in a midweek matchup with Texas Tech, but will try to pick up momentum in Fresno, California, where it will play the Bulldogs in a three-game series
The Lobos (5-6-1) have won only one of their last five games and have seemed to struggle so far this season to find their footing.
But UNM has faced some tough opposition this season, including Oregon State, whom they lost to twice—the first time 5-2 and the second 15-3. Oregon State is currently ranked second nationally, and Texas Tech, who beat the Lobos on Wednesday, are undefeated and ranked third nationally.
Fresno State is coming off of a recent winless three-game series to UNLV and has won two of its last five matches.
Last year, the Lobos went 2-4 against the Diamond ‘Dogs, and the most costly of those four losses came at the very end of the season, when the ‘Dogs knocked the Lobos out of the Mountain West Tournament.
Fresno State (9-5) has had several standout performers in the early stages of the season. Sophomore Carter Bins has 12 runs and 13 RBIs and junior Zach Ashford is averaging .467 at the plate — putting him 20th nationally for batting average. Ashford also has four doubles, one triple, three RBIs, six runs scored and a stolen base.
Edgar Gonzalez, Fresno’s most utilized pitcher, has a team-high 32 strikeouts and is sixth nationally for strikeouts.
For UNM, junior Hayden Schilling leads the offense; he is .423 at the plate and has put up 12 runs thus far this season. Schilling also leads the team in RBIs, with 10, and Lobo sophomore Justin Slaten leads the team in strikeouts, with 18.
On the mound, the Lobos have a staff ERA of 5.55 and are holding opponents to a .272 average. With a staff ERA of 3.27, the ‘Dogs are faring a little better; they are holding opponents to a .210 average.
Slaten, freshman Robert Gasser and sophomore Cody Dye will comprise the UNM starting rotation at the weekend.
Fresno State and UNM have met head-to- head 44 times, and the Lobos lead the series 25-19, but the ‘Dogs are 16-9 against UNM at home.
The first game of the series is on Friday at 7:05 p.m., the second at the same time on Saturday and the final game will occur on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. to wrap up the series. All three games will be played in Fresno, California, at Bob Bennett Stadium.
Matthieu Cartron is a senior writer and sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women’s soccer and men’s tennis. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cartron_matt.