New Mexico Edges BYU, 5-4, in Opening Game of Mountain West Baseball Championship
May 24, 2011
SAN DIEGO - Junior Trey Porras' one-out single to center in the top of the 11th inning scored Jacob Nelson with the winning run as No. 6 seed New Mexico beat No. 3 seed BYU 5-4 Tuesday in the opening round of the 2011 Mountain West Baseball Championship at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium.
The Lobos (17-39), who took two of three from the Cougars during the regular season, will face No. 1 seed TCU (40-15) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT.
Nelson, who came into the game batting .207, tied the game 4-4 with a one-out pinch-hit homer to right in the ninth off BYU starter Matthew Neil. It was the first home run of the season for Nelson.
Lobos freshman third baseman D.J. Peterson, who came into the game as the fifth-leading hitter in the league, finished 4-for-5 with an RBI triple in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the eighth that helped New Mexico erase and two-run deficit and tie the game 3-3.
"When you've got a young team like we do, it's just a matter of keeping them up and not letting them beat themselves up," said Lobos coach Ray Birmingham. "They have to have the attitude that 'I want to pitch in those situations; I want to hit in those situations.' You've got nothing to lose."
BYU, which fell to 29-26, will face the loser of Tuesday night's contest between No. 4 seed San Diego State and No. 5 seed UNLV at 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday.
"We're really disappointed we didn't come out with a win," said Cougars coach Vance Law. "Pitchers from both sides fought well, but we were not able to come up with a big hit with two outs. That's the way baseball is. The breaks went New Mexico's way."
Junior centerfielder Stephen Wells went 3-for-5 for BYU, while second baseman Dane Nielsen finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
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