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Junior catcher Mitchell Garver runs to first base after a hit in the game against ASU on Tuesday night at Isotopes Park. The series finished in a tie with the Lobos losing 3-1 to ASU Tuesday night.

New starters to play Eagles

The baseball team is finally back home.

After playing 13 of its last 15 games on the road, UNM takes on Florida Gulf Coast this weekend in a three-game homestand.

The Lobos are first in the MWC and beat Texas Tech twice during the week to take their record to 19-18, their first winning record of the season.

Sophomore first baseman DJ Peterson said the team is eager to play in front of their home fans.

“We are all excited to be home and have the home field advantage, for once,” Peterson said.

The Lobos will be missing six players because of injury, so three freshmen will be starting during the three games.

“These games this weekend will be used to continue to try and get more people playing and more people executing the game correctly,” he said.

UNM is on a 15-9 run, including wins over ranked Gonzaga and Arizona State. After starting out just 2-9. Peterson said the team is finally coming together.

“We are starting to come along. We are all buying in and all getting hot,” he said. “I think our lineup is really coming up clutch and getting us key hits. We have six guys out for injury and the guys filling in are doing a great job.”

For the first time in UNM history, all the starting pitchers are from New Mexico. The pitching staff has an ERA under 5 and head coach Ray Birmingham said that’s the first time that has happened since the ‘70s.

Gera Sanchez, from Las Cruces, is tied for first on the team with four wins and is holding opponents to just .181 hitting.

Birmingham said players like Sanchez lead the team’s winning streak.

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“We are trying to build a baseball program that can compete with anyone in the country, with New Mexico kids,” he said.

Florida Gulf Coast comes into the game with a 15-22 record and dropped its last series to Jacksonville last weekend.

The Eagles are led by Brandon Bednar, who is batting .281 with 16 RBIs and one home run.

Florida Gulf Coast doesn’t have a single player over .300 batting. UNM has five.

Leading those hitters is Peterson, who is second in the nation for hitting with a .452 batting average. He is also sixth in the country in hits with 66, and has 43 RBIs and 10 home runs.

“I’m just taking advantage,” Peterson said. “I’m just getting base hits when I need to and doing whatever I can to help out the team.”

Baseball vs Florida Gulf Coast
April 20, Noon
Isotopes Field

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