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Lobos Fall To No. 11 Beavers, Bulldogs In Opening Day Back-to-Back Games

by Alma Solis

SURPRISE, Ariz. – The Lobos opened up the 2022 season with an atypical doubleheader against No. 11 Oregon State and Gonzaga in the Sanderson Ford Collegiate Classic at Surprise Stadium on Friday. New Mexico fell, 21-1, to Oregon State in a noon game, before losing a heartbreaker walk-off, 3-2, to Gonzaga in the evening game to end the day.

Despite the results, the Lobos have tons to look forward to as a wide array of returners and newcomers came in clutch in today’s games. Returning junior third baseman Willie Cano and newcomer sophomore center fielder Jeffrey David led the Lobos with three hits apiece through the two games.

Cano also extended his hitting streak to 13 games and reached-base streak to 19 games (dating back to last season). Kyle Landers is now at a six-game hitting streak and seven-game reached-base streak, also dating back to the 2021 season. Power 5 transfer Kamron Willman and JUCO transfer Justin Olson both notched their first hit in the cherry red.

On the mound, Riley Egloff, Owen Loesch and Will Armbruester shined bright in the second game of the day against Gonzaga. Egloff held the Bulldogs to one earned run and struck out six batters in five innings pitched, going three up-three down through the first four of those innings. Newcomer Loesch provided solid middle relief pitching, as he allowed Gonzaga no runs and just two hits in two innings. Armbruester went three up and three down in the eighth inning and recorded two strikeouts in 1.2 innings.

In game one against Oregon State, the Lobos scored first as Cano singled to center field to drive home Cody Holtz in the top of the second inning. The Beavers quickly turned it around as they scored two runs in the bottom of the inning. After this, the Beavers scattered one or two runs in each inning before exploding for 11 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the win for No. 11 Oregon State. The Lobos were unable to find hitting power, ultimately falling to OSU, 21-1 in game one of the day.

In the second game of the day against Gonzaga, the Lobos again scored first as Olson drove in two runs with a double to left field. Egloff did a fantastic job of keeping the Bulldogs off the board for the first four innings as the righty went three up and three down in that span. Gonzaga then tied up the game in the bottom of the fifth, before both teams put up zeros in the sixth through eight innings. With two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, the Bulldogs capitalized on the opportunity and singled in the winning run. The Lobos fell to Gonzaga, 3-2, in a close heartbreaker.

The Lobos continue the Sanderson Ford Collegiate Classic with a 5 p.m. (MT) game against Gonzaga on Saturday at Surprise Stadium, before closing out the tournament with a 5 p.m. Sunday game against Oregon State.

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