Baseball Drops 11-7 Contest To New Mexico

April 2, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- Joe Salas was 2-for-4 with three RBI at the plate and pitched two innings of scoreless relief for his first save of the year as the New Mexico Lobos upset No. 3/7 Arizona State 11-7 Wednesday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

With the loss the Sun Devils dropped to 34-7 overall and after starting the season 28-1 have lost six of their last 12 games. New Mexico continued best season in 18 years improving to 23-10 and has now won 16 of its last 20 games.

ASU starter Beau Vaughan (Glendale) took the loss for ASU to fall to 5-2 on the year and suffered his first loss as a starter. Vaughan started with a rough four-run first inning and gave up eight runs and six hits in three and two-thirds innings. Senior reliever Robbie McClellan (Liberal, Kan.) kept the Devils close giving up three hits and one run in four and a third innings.

Lobo left-handed reliever Adrian Soto picked up the win for UNM. The Texas Tech transfer gave up two hits and two unearned runs in two and two-thirds innings to improve to 3-0 on the year.

The Sun Devils were limited to only eight hits and held below double-digits in hits for only the ninth time this year. Starting catcher Jeremy West went 2-for-3 in his first career start behind the plate and Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 11 games going 1-for-4 with two RBI. Pedroia hit his third home run of the year and sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish also connected on his 13th long ball of the year.

New Mexico became only the second team to put up 10 or more runs on the Devils this year (Long Beach State). Salas led the Lobos going 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer as part of the four-run first frame. First baseman Chris Alexander, who leads the nation with 18 home runs, went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Right fielder Sean Murray and former Sun Devil Cory Lizarraga each added two hits in the victory.

New Mexico put four quick runs in the board to take a 4-0 lead. After Vaughan walked the leadoff batter and hit Dusty Young, UNM scored the four runs on a single by Alexander and a two-run home run by Salas. The Devils responded cutting the UNM lead to 4-2 when Larish blasted a two-run homer off the 'Green Monster' in center field.

The Lobos added a run in the third on a run-scoring single by Salas, but ASU once again answered in the bottom half of the inning when Pedroia drilled his third home run of the year to lead off the inning.

UNM kept swinging the bats though, scoring four more runs in the top of the fourth to pull away from the Sun Devils and take a 9-3 lead. Vaughan gave up three unearned runs in the frame before reliever Mark Sopko gave up back-to-back doubles to score the Lobos fourth run of the inning. ASU would get as close as 9-7 after the eighth inning, but the Lobos scored two in the top of the ninth to seal the victory.

Arizona State will take the weekend off from competition and will next take the field on Monday (April 7) with a 7 p.m. game against Grand Canyon. The Devils return to Pac-10 action in two weekends (April 11-13) with a three-game series at Evans Diamond against the California Golden Bears. New Mexico faces a crucial Mountain West conference series this weekend at No. 24 UNLV.

New Mexico 11, Arizona State 7 (Apr 02, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------New Mexico.......... 401 400 002  - 11 12  2      (23-10)Arizona State....... 201 200 200  -  7  8  2      (34-7)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: New Mexico - Smith; Soto(4); Bullen(7); Salas(8).Arizona State - Vaughan; Sopko(4); McClellan(5); Bordes(9).Win-Soto(3-0)  Save-Salas(1)  Loss-Vaughan(5-2)  T-3:08  A-1919HR UNM - Salas (10); HR ASU - Pedroia (3); Larish (13).

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