Down 8-1, bench triggers comeback
RENO, Nev. — The University of New Mexico baseball team used an unlikely comeback to defeat Nevada 15-11 on Sunday and complete a three-game series sweep.
The Lobos (24-16, 14-4 Mountain West) trailed 8-1 after six innings and 10-7 heading to the ninth. However, UNM rallied for 14 runs in the final three innings, including eight in the ninth, to extend its winning streak to seven games.
Making the comeback all the more remarkable was that it came after Lobo coach Ray Birmingham replaced several starters.
“It was one of the craziest comebacks I’ve seen,” Birmingham said in a phone interview. “I was trying to spark it up, changing the lineup. Guys came off the bench and had quality at-bats when we needed them.”
Nevada (19-20, 7-11) closer Michael Fain retired the first UNM batter in the ninth, but the next seven reached base and ultimately scored. D.J. Peterson’s two-run double made the score 10-9, and John Pustay’s RBI double tied it. Alex Real followed with a double to give the Lobos their first lead of the day.
Luke Campbell and Chase Harris later chipped in doubles as UNM extended its lead to 15-10. Josh Melendez also singled during the rally, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.
Harris and Sam Haggerty finished with three hits and three RBIs apiece for the Lobos. Real collected three of UNM’s nine doubles, while Peterson had two and drove in four runs.
The Lobos lead second-place UNLV by three games in the MWC standings.
The Rebels (27-12, 11-7) completed a sweep of San Diego State on Sunday and visit Albuquerque for a three-game series beginning Friday.
— This article appeared on page B5 of the Albuquerque Journal