Baseball: a game built on history, facts, stats and prognostication, but you've still got to play the games.

When the UNM Lobos made it into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1962, sports writers dug through the history, dusted off some names and paraded them forth to remind us that this wasn't UNM's first time to put the shine on the diamond.

But Ray Birmingham wants us to know it isn't the last time either. If math serves me correctly, when the UNM baseball team made it to the NCAAs in 1962 Birmingham was a second grader in Hobbs. I don't have to talk to him to know that we don't have to wait until he's gumming his food and playing shuffleboard before the Lobos dig into the dugout in the NCAA tournament.

Birmingham's on it – planning the next game, the next season, the next possibility. That's who Birmingham is. It's also how he puts a team together.

In the first round, the Lobos found their way through four Cardinal pitchers and in the top of the seventh inning scored four runs on two singles. The Cardinal-aided rally – three walks and one Lobo hit-by-pitch – pushed the Lobos up 7-4. UNM held on for a 9-5 win in a first-round NCAA game at the Cal State Fullerton Regional.

The Lobos faced Minnesota hoping that a game-ending injury to first baseman Justin Howard would be the only loss of the day, but Minnesota pushed the Lobos into extra innings, resulting in a 6-4 loss in 10 in a winner's bracket game at the 2010 NCAA Fullerton Regional.

UNM (38-21) moved into the consolation bracket and faced host Cal State Fullerton (42-16) in an elimination game. The Lobos lost to host Cal State Fullerton, 11-3, to end the season. New Mexico finishes the 2010 season with a 38-22 record.

It's the end of the season, but hardly the last time these guys will don cleats, slap a glove against a thigh and run out to be introduced under the sun's glare or stadium lights.

Four Lobos selected in Major League Baseball draft
Four Lobo baseball players were selected on the second day of the 2010 Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft. Junior Rafael Neda was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, senior Willy Kesler by the Seattle Mariners, junior Kenny Toves by the Florida Marlins and senior Justin Howard by the Pittsburg Pirates.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 505-277-5920