The UNM baseball team made another dramatic, late-inning rally to pull out a slugfest over Texas Tech University 12-11 Tuesday afternoon at the Albuquerque Sports Stadium.
The Lobos scored five runs during the last two innings to win for the third straight time at home and improved to 3-6 after starting the season 0-6.
"Our offense didn't quit," UNM head coach Rich Alday said. "We got some runners on base and we finally got some timely base hits. The one thing we did not do well is throw strikes. We walked a lot of people and those were the people that scored."
The Lobos had many offensive heroes on the day. Junior outfielder Donny Sevieri went three-for-five with two RBIs and added a crushing home run. Outfielder Joe Salas had three hits and first baseman Anthony Lovato had two hits and three clutch RBIs.
With the score tied at 11, UNM started the bottom of the ninth with a single by outfielder Mark Okano. A failed sacrifice attempt by Salas resulted in UNM's first out of the inning. Sevieri tried to sacrifice Okano to second with a bunt, but reached base on an error by Texas Tech first baseman Nick Blankenship, who bobbled the grounder. With two outs and runners on first and second, a wild pitch allowed Okano to advance to third, then a passed ball scored Okano from third.
"This team does not believe in giving up," Lovato said. "We fight all the way to the end and it has paid off in the last two games. It is a great feeling."
Freshman pitcher James Vermilyea got his first win of the year after pitching a perfect ninth inning.
The win was the Lobos' second comeback win in as many days. Monday, the Lobos scored five runs in its last at bat to pull out an 8-7 win over the University of Southern Utah.
A victory looked bleak after the Red Raiders scored three runs in the top of the eight to extend their lead to 11-7.
However, the Lobos answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with four runs on two hits, an error and a walk. The key play was a triple down the right field line by third baseman Aaron Stanley.
Alday was happy with the win, but said his team cannot keep playing inconsistently and hope to come back to win every game.
"You're always happy with a win, but we can do better," Alday said. "We have been getting down so early and we can't do that. One of these times it will catch up to us. Another thing is to get some pitching to get some zeros on the scoreboard."
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UNM starting pitcher Chris Cooper had a rough outing. He allowed five runs in three innings and had trouble finding the strike zone, walking three players. Texas Tech pitcher Cory Metzler fared even worse. He allowed nine hits and seven runs to the Lobos.
Texas Tech (6-4) lost for the first time this season when scoring first.
The Red Raiders scored early and often, putting up eight runs in the first four innings. UNM made another rally to get back into the game after trailing 8-2. In the bottom of the fourth, the Lobos scored four runs, highlighted by a two-run homerun to straight away center field by Sevieri, his first of the year. Lovato added a two-run double.
The Lobos play in the Baseball Fiesta Friday - a three-day tournament pitting teams from the Big 12 conference and the Mountain West Conference.
"Its good that we are going in with a win streak," Lovato said. "Hopefully we get some fans out, the way we've been playing."