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Explosive Offense Leads Lobos to 11-5 Win Over Air Force in Game Two

by Alma Solis

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – The University of New Mexico baseball team took a 11-5 game two victory over Air Force to knot up the series on Saturday afternoon at Falcon Field.

Brett Russell turned in his best start yet as he went 5.2 innings and allowed no runs on just three hits while fanning three Falcons, earning his first win of the season. Every single New Mexico batter reached base at least once today, including three Lobos with three-hit games and one with a two-hit game. Lenny Junior Ashby launched his seventh home run of the season, while Braydon Runion hit his fifth jack of the season and his second of the series as he hit one in Friday’s game as well.

The first inning went quick and scoreless on both sides of the frame. In the second, the Lobos started to warm up as Kyle Landers walked to start the inning and Willie Cano then knocked him with a double to right center, making the score 1-0.

The bottom of the inning saw lots of great defensive plays by the Lobos. A great framing job by Johnny (Shane) Podsednik helped get the Falcon batter looking for B. Russell’s first strikeout of the game. The starter also contributed to a phenomenal play in which second baseman Cole Posey threw to B. Russell who was covering first, stretching out to make the great defensive play.

After a scoreless third inning, New Mexico heated up and exploded for six runs in the fourth. Willie Cano started off the frame with a triple to left center, then Justin Olson walked. Chase Weissenborn then stepped up to the plate with runners on the corners and ripped a single to center field to bring home Cano.

Podsednik grounded out but moved up both runners to scoring position. Cole Posey then grounded out to drive in Olson. With two outs and an 0-2 count, Jeffrey David hit a single to bring Weissenborn around to make the score 4-0.

After a pitching change by the Falcons, it only took Ashby two pitches to jump on a ball he liked and send a ball way out past the right field wall for a two-run homerun to extend the Lobos’ lead to 6-0.

Runion then doubled down the left field line to set the scene for Landers. The designated hitter then singled through the right side to bring home Runion and cap off scoring in the inning with New Mexico taking the 7-0 advantage.

The fifth inning went scoreless as the Lobos went three up-three down in the top of the frame. B. Russell got himself out of a bases-loaded jam as he forced a strikeout swinging and a fly out.

The Lobos found more offensive success in the sixth inning as they scored three runs on four hits. After David and Ashby each singled to find their way on base, Runion jumped on the first pitch he saw and launched his second home run of the series, this time a three-run round tripper to give the Lobos a double digit 10-0 advantage.

In the bottom of the frame, Podsednik displayed why runners should never attempt to steal on Lobo catchers as he threw out the Falcon running to second to end the inning. This is the Lobos’ eighth caught stealing play they have made this season.

New Mexico then extended their lead to 11-0 in the next inning as Cole Posey singled to third base before he was driven in on a double by David.

The Falcons plated five runs through the seventh and eighth innings but were unable to come back. The Lobos took the second game of the series with a dominant 11-5 victory over the Falcons.

New Mexico’s record improves to 10-13 overall with a 4-4 record in MW play. Air Force falls to 8-13 overall and 2-5 in conference action.

The Lobos and Falcons play the rubber match of the three-game series tomorrow with a first pitch time set for 12 p.m. (MT) at Falcon Field.

New Mexico will then head back to the Land of Enchantment for a state rivalry game at New Mexico State in Las Cruces on March 29 at 6 pm.

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