• Lannan shines, but Isotopes drop second-straight 2-1 game
    For the second game in a row, the Albuquerque Isotopes’ (21-31) starting pitcher turned in a stellar outing, but a ninth-inning rally doomed their efforts. The Omaha Storm Chasers (26-26) claimed their second-consecutive 2-1 win, negating Isotopes left-hander John Lannan’s stellar start. THE TURNING POINT: Albuquerque’s only run came after a leadoff walk to Drew Stubbs in the fourth inning. He would later score on an error by the shortstop. It wasn’t until a one-out double in the seventh that the Storm Chasers strung together any meaningful offense. An RBI single tied the game but no more damage was done that inning. With one out in the ninth, Cheslor Cuthbert poked a solo home run over the left-center field fence to give Omaha the 2-1 lead and eventual win. Albuquerque managed to load the bases with no one out in the bottom of the ninth, but a 5-2-3 double play erased the Isotopes comeback chances. FANNIN’ LANNAN: Left-handed pitcher, Lannan, scattered five hits and just one run over seven innings of work. It was his fifth-straight quality start and seventh overall this season. In his last 26.0 innings, Lannan has allowed just six earned runs (3.12 ERA). Of his 98 pitches on Monday, 60 were strikes.
  • Four Lobos qualify for nationals
    Three days in Austin, four Lobos to Eugene. Three University of New Mexico track and field athletes qualified to the NCAA Championships Saturday as the Lobos finished with four total qualifiers at the 2015 NCAA West Preliminary competition this weekend. Peter Callahan, Logan Pflibsen and Calli Thackery all punched their tickets to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday, joining Alice Wright, who qualified Thursday. It’s the ninth-straight year New Mexico has qualified at least four athletes to the NCAA Championships. Pflibsen opened the third day of the three-day meet with a personal-record performance in the men’s pole vault. The senior out of Streator, Ill., cleared 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches to place fifth overall out of the 48 competitors and secure his bid to nationals. The top 12 finishers in each event qualify to the NCAA finals. For Pflibsen, his new lifetime best ranks fourth in New Mexico history and makes him the first Lobo to make the NCAA finals in the pole vault since Robert Caldwell in 2008. Only three athletes — Pflibsen, Caldwell and Derek Mackel — have made the event in the last 24 years. Joe Powdrell (1967) and Simon Arkell (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991) are the only other UNM athletes to accomplish the feat.
  • Isotopes break out 12 runs to rout Omaha
    Opening an eight-game homestand, the Isotopes (20-29) unleashed a 12-run outburst in a 12-3 rout of the Omaha Storm Chasers (24-25) at Isotopes Park Friday night. Left fielder Matt McBride turned in a 3-for-4 evening with three singles and three RBI, while designated hitter Ryan Casteel went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, three runs scored and four RBI. Albuquerque jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first on a McBride RBI single only to have Omaha tie it in the top of the third. That tie wouldn’t last long, though, as the first eight batters reached for the Isotopes in the bottom of the third, allowing five runs to score. The big knock of the inning was a two-RBI double by Casteel. The ’Topes would go on to tack on two runs in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to put the game out of reach. Isotopes Park has been very friendly to Casteel this season. He is now hitting .453 (24-for-53) at home. He also has seven doubles, a triple, three homers and 19 RBI at The Lab. McBride, meanwhile, did what Matt McBride does best Friday night: hit. The left fielder now has hits in 18 of his last 21 games, 13 of which are multi-hit performances. During that span, McBride is hitting .412 (35-for-85) with 17 runs, eight doubles, four homers, 14 RBI and three walks. He has also raised his average from .178 to .331.
  • Three-run ninth lifts Isotopes past Zephyrs
    A three-run ninth inning lifted the Albuquerque Isotopes (19-30) past the New Orleans Zephyrs (23-22) in a 4-2 victory at Zephyr Field, Thursday night. Tim Smalling and Jose Rivera each reached to leadoff the top of the ninth via an error. Roger Bernadina sacrificed both runners into scoring position, and Angelys Nina picked up an RBI single that scored Smalling. The hero of the night, Kyle Parker, then stepped in a roped a two-RBI single into left, scoring Rivera and Nina. Parker turned in a 2-for-5 evening that included a home run, a run scored and three RBI. It was his second-straight multi-hit game, and he now has hits in 14 of his last 15 games. During that stretch, he is hitting .373 (22-for-59) during that stretch with eight runs scored, three doubles, three homers and 12 RBI. HALE YEAH: Right-hander David Hale made his first start for the Isotopes since a spot start with the Colorado Rockies last week. He tossed seven strong innings, allowing just two runs on six hits. Hale did not walk a batter, while striking out two. In his last three starts between Triple-A and the Majors, Hale has tossed 19.2 innings, allowing just six earned runs and striking out 10.
  • Wright punches ticket to NCAA championships
    One day in, one athlete to nationals. University of New Mexico track and field athlete Alice Wright punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships Thursday as she placed second in the 10,000-meter run at the 2015 NCAA West Preliminary competition. Wright, who will move on to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., was just one UNM athlete to enjoy success Thursday, as four other Lobos advanced to the next round at the West Preliminaries. Peter Callahan, Tamara Armoush, Sophie Connor and Alex Herring all moved on to the quarterfinal round of their respective events, which will be held over the next two days at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. But Wright was the headliner of the opening day of the meet, as she became the first Lobo in three years to make the national finals in the 10,000. After sitting back in the front a largely compacted group through 10 laps, Wright took control of the latter half of the 25-lap race. She led for a number of the final laps, conceding first place on the home straight of the bell lap to Air Force's Hannah Everson. However, her time of 34 minutes, 25.04 seconds was good for second place in the event and easily secured the requisite top-12 finish needed to advance to the NCAA finals.
  • Isotopes' late rally falls short
    The Albuquerque Isotopes (18-30) scored a combined three runs in the sixth and seventh innings against the New Orleans Zephyrs (23-21) Wednesday night but eventually fell 4-3 after surrendering an eighth inning run at Zephyr Field. Pitchers dominated the early innings Wednesday evening, putting up four straight scoreless frames. The Zephyrs struck for two in the fifth and one in the sixth to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The Isotopes managed a two-run seventh to tie the game at three, but an eighth inning single gave New Orleans the 4-3 lead and eventual win. MORE MCBRIDE: A day after having his 12-game hitting streak snapped, Matt McBride returned to form with a 2-for-5 day. He now has hits in 17 of his last 19 games, 10 of which have been multi-hit performances. During that stretch, McBride is hitting .421 (32-for-76) with 16 runs scored, eight doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and two walks. PEAKING PARKER: Kyle Parker also had his 12-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday evening and responded with a 2-for-5 evening that included an RBI and a run scored. He now has hits in 13 of his last 14 games and is hitting .370 (20-for-54) during that stretch with seven runs scored, three doubles, two homers and nine RBI.
  • Gladiators destroy Bandits
    The Duke City Gladiators are on a mission. In a third, and final, regular season bout versus the San Angelo Bandits, the Gladiators made a statement to the league that they are here to play. Monday in San Angelo, Texas, the Gladiators played a strong and commanding game, dominating the matchup, 47-10. The Bandits scored first in the first quarter, but Duke City’s Jayson Serda answered right back with a 52-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Possessions for both teams were back-and-forth without any change in the score the rest of the quarter. In the second quarter, however, the Gladiators got the momentum and couldn’t be stopped afterwards. A huge play made by Serda on a missed San Angelo field goal was one piece of the winning puzzle. He returned the missed attempt for a 50-yard touchdown. Quarterback Kasey Peters connected with receivers Roland Bruno and James Cleveland on multiple occasions for touchdowns. Peters finished 17-for-33 with 166 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Cleveland and Bruno both finished with two touchdown receptions while Serda had quite the game with six solo tackles, two interceptions and two touchdowns. The Gladiators are now 6-3 overall and 4-3 in league play. The team’s last away game of is Friday in Allen, Texas against the Texas Revolution.
  • Isotopes shut out twice in one day
    The New Orleans Zephyrs (22-21) shutout the Albuquerque Isotopes (18-29) 3-0 and 4-0 during Tuesday evening’s doubleheader at Zephyr Field.The Isotopes have now been held scoreless for 22 straight innings. The Zephyrs wasted no time jumping on the board in both games. New Orleans put up single runs in the first and second innings of game one before adding an insurance run in the third. Game two saw the Zephyrs score one run in the first and two in the second to take control on the contest. Former Isotopes infielder Miguel Rojas turned in a 3-for-5 night with a home run, a double, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Entering the day, two Isotopes players held 11-game hitting streaks. Matt McBride and Kyle Parker both got hits in first game, but couldn’t continue their streaks in the second contest.  
  • UNM fighting for national bids at west prelims
    New Mexico track and field is sending 22 individuals and a relay team to the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Championships competition this weekend in Austin, Texas. UNM’s 11 men, 11 women and men’s relay team are all eyeing a top-12 finish in their respective events at Mike A. Myers Stadium. A top-12 finish at the preliminary rounds — which are split between the West region in Austin and the East region in Jacksonville, Fla. — advances a competitor to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Qualifying for the preliminary championships competition is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event contested at each of the prelim competitions, the top 48 declared student-athletes were accepted. On the men’s side, 11 Lobos and a relay will compete in Austin, with Allan Hamilton leading the pack in two events. Hamilton, the Mountain West champion in the long jump and triple jump, qualified in both events. He is seeded ninth in the long jump and 27th in the triple jump. Also qualifying in the jumps are Logan Pflibsen in the pole vault (seeded 17th), Yannick Roggatz in the long jump (32nd) and Django Lovett in the high jump (44th).
  • UNM’s season ends in MW championship
    The University of New Mexico baseball team saw its season come to a heartbreaking end Sunday as it fell to San Diego State 6-4 in the Mountain West Tournament championship game. The Lobos had the potential go-ahead run at the plate with two outs in the ninth in the form of Jack Zoellner, who had already homered and doubled in the game, but he flew out to left-center to end it. Zoellner was one of four Lobos, all of whom is either a freshman or sophomore, to earn All-Tournament honors. He was joined by Carl Stajduhar, Lane Milligan and Carson Schneider. The Lobos (32-27) had plenty of chances in the championship, but the crucial game-changing hit eluded them in the late innings. Outside of the ninth, perhaps their best chance came down one in the eighth. Jared Holley doubled with two outs, but Sam Haggerty’s looping stroke to center was snagged on a nice sliding catch. SDSU (40-21) got on board with a run in the first off freshman Tyler Stevens, who was starting on just three days’ rest, but the Lobos responded in the second. Stajduhar doubled to and Zoellner followed with a two-run shot off the scoreboard in right-center to give the Lobos a 2-1 lead.