ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For the second-straight game New Mexico (11-9) gave up multiple runs in the seventh inning and lost to the No. 24 Houston Cougars (16-7) by the score of 6-5 in back-to-back games at Lobo Field. The Lobos had a ninth inning rally on Saturday that plated two runs and ended with two more men on base.
New Mexico’s Chris DeVito and Lane Milligan drove in all five Lobo runs. Milligan, who started in left field before moving to catcher, had a sacrifice fly in the third inning and two-out RBI single to left field in the seventh. Designated hitter Chris Devito drove in one run in the sixth before his timely two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to put his team within one run of the nationally-ranked Cougars.
The Lobos out-hit Houston 10-7 but stranded nine runners on base and batted 4-18 (.222) with runners in scoring position on the day. New Mexico also drew three walks against Houston’s first two pitchers Kyle Dowdy and Aaron Fletcher.
Dowdy, the Cougar starting pitcher, limited UNM to just three runs (all earned) on five hits in six and two-third innings to get the win. Aaron Garza gave up one run in the ninth but held on to earn his third save of the season for Houston.
New Mexico’s Tyler Stevens got the start, and the freshman surrendered five hits and three earned runs before being relieved by Luis Gonzalez. Gonzalez and fellow bullpen mates Preston Ryan and James Harrington combined to give up three earned runs in the final five innings of the game.
Houston started the scoring action in the first inning thanks to third baseman Justin Montemayor’s two-run single. Montemayor’s pair of RBI was followed up by Kyle Survance’s sacrifice fly to center to give the nationally-ranked Cougars a three-run lead after two innings.
New Mexico would get its first run of the game in the third inning. Bunts by Jared Holley and Danny Collier set up the first of Lane Milligan’s two RBI.
The Lobos and the Cougars will play their third and final game of the season at 1 p.m. (MST) on Sunday, March 22.