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NCAA baseball tournament, Lubbock regional: Saturday preview

The New Mexico Lobos will look to top host Texas Tech, while Dallas Baptist and Fairfield hope to avoid elimination.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Dallas Baptist Patriots (41-18) vs. #4 Fairfield Stags (32-25)

WHERE: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park; Lubbock, TX

WHEN: Saturday, June 4 -- 12:00 PM PT/1:00 PM MT

TV: ESPN3/WatchESPN

Back in March, Dallas Baptist laid a season's worth of offense onto the New Mexico Lobos during their three-game series. Yesterday, UNM was finally able to return the favor, and now DBU stands on the brink of being ousted.

Their ace, Colin Poche, wasn't able to get out of the fifth inning and suffered his first loss on the year. Four errors in the field, a figure the Patriots hadn't reached since late February, didn't help matters at all, either. That they were eventually able to break through the close the gap in the sixth inning, on a three-run homer by Jameson Hannah, is encouraging, and something to watch as they play for a chance to possibly even the score with New Mexico tomorrow.

Fairfield had a similarly forgettable afternoon against the top-seeded Red Raiders, allowing sixteen hits and a few early inning rallies while TTU's Davis Martin stymied them on the mound. The top five hitters in yesterday's lineup went just 2-for-18, which they'll need to improve upon if they want to play again.

#3 New Mexico Lobos (39-21) vs. #1 Texas Tech Red Raiders (43-16)

WHERE: Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park; Lubbock, TX

WHEN: Saturday, June 4 -- 4:00 PM PT/5:00 PM MT

TV: ESPN3/WatchESPN

RADIO: The broadcast can be heard in and around Albuquerque on 101.7 FM.

As some predicted, New Mexico center field Luis Gonzalez carried his hot bat from the conference tournament to the regional opener against DBU, going 4-for-4 with five RBI. While Carl Stajduhar had a quiet afternoon, Chris DeVito was able to cash in with a two-run triple in the first inning; that gave UNM a lead they would build upon and never relinquish.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, put Fairfield in a world of hurt early by getting on base at a shocking clip. Unlike the Stags, the top five in TTU's starting lineup reached fifteen times, paced by leadoff hitter Stephen Smith (3-for-3, two walks, two runs scored). Their patience wore out Stags started Kyle Dube, who threw 89 pitches in just four innings, which could be something to watch in the Lobos: Though Colton Thomson didn't allow any runs until the sixth innings, DBU drew four walks against him and eight on the afternoon, and he threw 101 pitches in just 5.1 innings.