ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth with a nine run outburst and went on to hand Texas Tech a 16-8 loss on Tuesday afternoon at Isotopes Park.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak by the Red Raiders as they fell to 24-21 on the season. New Mexico improved to 28-14.
New Mexico wasted little time jumping out to an early lead in the bottom of the first as the Lobos strung together three consecutive singles up the middle with one out to help build a 3-0 lead. Rafael Neda and Cameron Smith each drove in runs on base hits while John Twichell capped the inning with an RBI sacrifice fly to center.
Junior third baseman Nick Popescu got Tech's first hit and first run of the day in the top of the third when he led off the inning with a solo home run to center. The home run was his fifth of the year and cut the deficit to 3-1.
After a leadoff groundout by Joey Kenworthy in the top of the fourth, freshman first base Barrett Barnes got Tech started with a double to the corner in left field. Senior left fielder Michael Reed then drove Barnes home with a bloop single to left-center that cut the UNM lead to 3-2. Scott LeJeune's 25th double of the year gave Tech runners at second and third and just one out and that set up an RBI opportunity for Bonham Hough. Hough took advantage of the situation and drove a ball deep to center field and that was enough to let Reed score from third and tie the game 3-3.
Three walks and a hit batter by reliever Brandon Petite gave the Lobos the lead back in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Petite's third free pass of the frame walked home Justin Howard, who led off the frame with a walk, and broke the 3-3 tie. It went downhill from there for the Red Raiders as the Lobos ended up scoring nine runs on six hits and an error to take a 12-3 lead.
Brandon Petite was charged with the loss and fell to 2-3 on the year after giving up six runs on three hits three walks in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Rudy Jaramillo held Tech to just three runs on four hits over five innings of work to earn the win and improved to 3-1.
Texas Tech returns to action this weekend when the Red Raiders host the Missouri Tigers in a three-game series at Dan Law Field. First pitch on Friday night is set for 6:30 p.m.
R H E
Texas Tech - 001 200 041 - 8 12 3
New Mexico - 300 090 40x - 16 16 2
WP = Rudy Jaramillo (3-1)
LP = Brandon Petite (2-3)
SV = None