James Harrington gave the New Mexico baseball team exactly what it needed Tuesday night. The sophomore allowed just one unearned run in 6.2 innings as the Lobos rolled to a 10-4 victory over visiting New Mexico State.
“No earned runs and he went past six innings and that was cool for me,” coach Ray Birmingham said. “He made an adjustment and got back down in the zone.”
Harrington (7-1) scattered four hits and only walked one batter. He only needed one strikeout, getting the majority of his outs via groundball.
“I just had all my pitches and I was just trying to execute,” Harrington said. “I trusted my defense and they helped me out.”
The length of Harrington’s start was also important. It saved the bullpen going into a huge weekend series at Arizona State.
“It saves the bullpen and we needed that because this series coming up against ASU is huge for us,” Harrington said. “Saving the bullpen’s arms and having them be fresh this weekend is going to be good.”
Carl Stajduhar and the rest of the UNM hitters did the rest. The sophomore belted a solo home run in the first inning and a two-run shot to cap a four-run fifth inning.
“I was just trying to get us an early start, get us going early, get the energy up,” Stajduhar said. “Everyone wants to come out (strong against) New Mexico State, it’s time to go, it’s a big game.”
That fifth inning made it 6-1, which was more than enough. Just in case, the Lobos (30-13) added four more runs in the sixth.
The Aggies (22-18) did little to help their own cause, committing three costly errors in the fifth and sixth. Only four of UNM’s runs were earned.
Luis Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with two runs, a double and two RBI while Andre Vigil was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Jared Holley went 1-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and was also hit by a pitch for the 38th time in his career, tying the Lobo record.
In a bizarre moment in the eighth inning, Holley ended up being ejected. He had reached on a groundout as Gonzalez was thrown out at second base.
Holley then yelled something at Gonzalez about failing to slide but first base umpire Dom Giaratano did not like the UNM senior saying anything and tossed him from the game. The Lobos will appeal the subsequent one-game suspension, Birmingham said.
UNM will need Holley in the lineup for this weekend against the Sun Devils in Phoenix. The first game is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be a great environment, a great atmosphere,” Stajduhar said. “It’s the kind of games that you live for.”