Feb. 20, 2010

Courtesy of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas Longhorns let a 5-2 lead slip away and dropped a 6-5 decision to the New Mexico Lobos in collegiate baseball action Saturday afternoon at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

New Mexico (1-1) jumped out to the early lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Rafael Neda drew a walk and scored on a two-run home run over the leftfield wall by Ryan Honeycutt.

Texas (1-1) responded with four runs in the bottom half of the first. With one out, Jordan Etier reached on a bloop single to centerfield and Cameron Rupp laced a single to leftfield. An error by second baseman Ben Woodchick while receiving a double play ball bounced by Russell Moldenhauer allowed Etier to score. With two outs, Connor Rowe blasted a double to the gap in left centerfield to plate Rupp and Kevin Lusson singled through the left side, to plate Rowe and Moldenhauer for the 4-2 lead.

The Longhorns inflated the cushion to 5-2 in the bottom of the second. Brandon Loy drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Etier and scored on a single through the right side by Rupp.

New Mexico trimmed the lead to 5-3 in the top of the third. Justin Howard reached on a single to rightfield and moved to third with an error on a failed pickoff attempt. Neda pushed Howard across with a groundout to second.

The Lobos pulled to within one run in the top of the sixth. Max Willett hit a triple to the wall in right centerfield and scored on a groundout to second base by Kenny Held.

With Longhorns closer Chance Ruffin on the mound, the Lobos scored the equalizer and game-winning run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Howard hit a home run over the fence in rightfield to knot the game at 5-5. Neda hit an infield single. Devon Conley pinch-ran for Neda and a single to righfield by Honeycutt put runners at the corners. An error by Ruffin allowed the inning to continue and Willett pushed across the game winner with a sacrifice fly to leftfield.

Rupp spearheaded the Texas offense, going 2-for-4 at the plate with one run and one RBI. Kevin Keyes also had a pair of hits.

Howard propelled the Lobos, going 3-for-4 at the plate, with one home run, two runs and one RBI. Willett went 3-for-4 with one triple, one run and one RBI.

Ruffin (0-1) was saddled with a loss for the Longhorns. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out three. UT starter Brandon Workman allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits and two walks while striking out seven over 6.0 innings.

Austin House (1-0) earned the win in relief. He closed out the game with 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one walk while striking out two. Kenny Toves kept the Lobos in the game with 5.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Texas and New Mexico close out the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.