The University of New Mexico baseball team improved to a school best 9-0 start in conference play with a 7-3 win over host UNLV on Sunday.
Luis Gonzalez allowed three runs on 12 hits to earn his second win of the season, while first baseman Jack Zoellner led the offensive charge with two hits in four at-bats, including a tone-setting three-run home run in the top of the first inning.
Zoellner, a 6-2 205 pound senior from Gilbert, Arizona fought a tough two-strike count to launch a three-run blast over the right field fence to plate Jared Mang and Gonzalez. Mang would add a RBI single of his own as part of a two-run fifth inning that extended UNM’s lead to 5-1.
The Rebels would mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning on RBI singles by catcher Vince Taormina and left fielder Payton Squier. But the three-man combination of James Harrington, Justin Staten, and Christian Tripp would limit the Rebels to just one hit and zero runs in the final three innings to secure the win for Gonzalez and the Lobos.
“Gonzo was good, but the combo of Justin Slaten and Christian Tripp gives us a chance to shorten games in the future,” UNM Head Coach Ray Birmingham said via GoLobos.com. “They were automatic.”
Birmingham will once again look to his bullpen to be automatic as the Lobos continue their regular season schedule with a quick one-game tilt against in-state rival New Mexico State down in Las Cruces before heading home for a three-game series against Fresno State.
The Bulldogs are 13-10 on the season, with a 5-4 record in Mountain West Conference play.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM on Friday, March 31st. Be sure to catch all the action in FM stereo on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM.