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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The University of New Mexico Lobos scratched out of 1-0 and 3-1 deficits to defeat the Brigham Young Cougars 5-4 Tuesday in the opening game of the 2011 Mountain West Conference baseball tournament.
The Lobos used a solo shot by pinch hitter Jacob Nelson in the top of the ninth inning to grab their first lead of the game, a lead that didn’t hold. Nelson also walked and scored in the 11th inning to give UNM a 5-4 lead that did hold up.
It was a dramatic 5-4 comeback win for the No. 6 seed Lobos, who entered the 2011 MWC tourney needing a string of upsets in order to claim the 2011 title and the automatic NCAA bid.
Nelson’s homer in the ninth inning following a big two-run rally in the eighth allowed UNM to rally for the win and advance to tonight’s 8 p.m. contest with TCU’s Horned Frogs, the MWC regular-season champion.
TCU is coming off a three-game sweep of the Lobos at Isotopes Park.
“It was a wing and a prayer,” said Lobo manager Ray Birmingham of Tuesday’s comeback win. “I was proud the way the kids competed and fought back and that’s what they have done all year. It’s been a challenging season, but these Lobos never quit fighting. They keep coming after people and I’m so proud of that.”
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