Lobo baseball opens 2018 with loss to No. 2 Oregon State
February 16, 2018 08:29 PM
SURPRISE, Ariz. – A year after the Lobo baseball team started its season with a sweep against Binghamton, New Mexico began the 2018 campaign with a loss.
But the Lobos also had a much more formidable season-starting opponent this year: No. 2 Oregon State, which made it to the semifinals of the 2017 College World Series following a 56-win campaign.
New Mexico fell 5-2 in Arizona against the Beavers in the Surprise Tournament, though it's nothing head coach Ray Birmingham is concerned about in the (very) early going.
"We have a lot of young pups out there," Birmingham is quoted as saying in a UNM Athletics release. "But like I told them, everyone just needs to be patient because we will get there."
The game was scoreless through three before Oregon State got to Lobo starter Justin Slaten (0-1) in the fourth. Two homers scored three runs, and two more Beavers crossed home plate in the fifth inning.
Slaten was pulled from the mound after 4.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two.
New Mexico broke through in the sixth when Connor Mang scored on a fielder's choice. Jared Mang would tack on another run with an RBI single scoring Hayden Schilling, but the comeback bid would stall there.
Luke Heimlich went six strong innings for the Beavers, earning the win after giving up two earned runs on four hits while also striking out four.
Both teams' bullpens prevented further drama; two Lobo relievers combined for 3.1 scoreless innings while OSU's Brandon Eisert hurled a final three innings of no-hit ball.
The Lobos – who finished 2017 with a 30-27-1 record, including 10-17-1 on the road – will get another shot at Oregon State on Monday following matchups with Cal Poly and Gonzaga.
Their next matchup, against Cal Poly, is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT Saturday.
Updated: February 16, 2018 08:29 PM
Created: February 16, 2018 08:25 PM
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