Open Announce

Lobos Even Series in Game Two Victory over Nevada

by Alma Solis

RENO, Nev. — The University of New Mexico baseball team routed the Nevada Wolf Pack, 17-10, in game two of the three-game series to even up the series on Saturday night at Don Weir Field at Peccole Park.

In his first start in a week, Sean Stephens had a phenomenal performance at the plate as he went 5-for-6 with five runs, four RBI, two doubles and a home run. Five other Lobos had multi-hit games as Kamron Willman, Lenny Junior Ashby, Kyle Smith and Johnny Podsednik notched two hits, while Braydon Runion recorded three hits. Although he didn’t start the game, Riley Egloff earned the win in tonight’s matchup to improve to 6-5, the second game this season that he didn’t start but earned the win decision.

Nevada opened scoring with a run in the bottom of the first, taking an early 1-0 advantage. New Mexico quickly responded with six runs in the top of the second frame. With runners on second and third and one out on the board, Stephens singled on the second pitch he saw to drive in two runs.

Chase Weissenborn then singled to left center and Stephens advanced to third to put runners on the corner for the top of the order, Willman, who proceeded to single through the right side to bring home Stephens.

A couple batters later, both Weissenborn and Willman were brought all the way around as Runion launched a three-run home run to left center. This marks Runion’s 10th homer of the season, the second Lobo to hit double digits in the category, right behind Lenny Junior Ashby’s 12.

The Wolf Pack responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to make the score 6-3, in favor of UNM. On the first pitch of the very next frame, Stephens launched a solo home run to left center to extend the Lobos lead to 7-3.

Nevada responded promptly in the bottom of the third inning as they scored four runs to knot the game at 7-7. That would be the closest the Wolf Pack got to the Lobos for the rest of the night.

The Lobos then strung together their second six-run inning of the game in the top of the fourth. Runion and Kyle Landers were hit by pitch back-to-back to start the inning with two runners on. After a strikeout, Cano hit a single on the first pitch he saw to drive in Runion for the first run scored in the inning.

Soon after, Podsednik walked to load the bases. Then, Stephens reached on a fielder’s choice that drove in Landers on the play.

Weissenborn then reached and advanced to second on an error by Nevada’s shortstop in which a playable ball slipped right through his legs and allowed Cano and Stephens to score on the error.

Up next, Willman was walked on four pitches and Weissenborn advanced to third on a wild pitch to put runners on the corners. After a pitching change by Nevada, Ashby was the second straight batter to be walked, loading up the bases. Runion then stepped up to the plate and singled through the right side, bringing home Weissenborn and Willman to extend the Lobo lead to 13-7.

The Wolf Pack added another run in the bottom of the fourth to cut New Mexico’s lead to 13-8. The fifth inning went scoreless as Egloff sat down the first batter of the inning on a swinging strikeout then forced a fly out and ground out.

New Mexico added on a few more insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Stephens singled to start the inning, then Weissenborn walked to put two runners on. Ashby then doubled to left center to drive both of them in.

A couple of outs and a pitching change later, bases were loaded for Cano, who proceeded to work a walk on four pitches. With nowhere to go, Ashby scored from third on the walk.

The Wolf Pack responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame, but a great tumbling catch by Ashby in left field for the final out prevented further damage.

In the seventh inning, the Lobos scored the final run of the game. Stephens hit a double to left center to start things off, then Weissenborn was walked. Willman hit into a fielder’s choice which forced Weissenborn out at second, putting runners on the corners with one out. Ashby then singled through the right side to score Stephens from third, extending New Mexico’s lead to 17-10.

The next two innings went scoreless as Lobo pitching kept the Nevada Wolf Pack at bay. Will Armbruester came in to close the game in the ninth frame, opening the inning with a strikeout and then forcing two groundouts to ensure the 17-10 victory for New Mexico in game two over Nevada.

New Mexico’s record improves to 18-27 overall and 9-17 in Mountain West play, while Nevada sits at 24-21 overall and 14-9 in conference action.

The Lobos and Wolf Pack play the rubber match/series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m. (MT) in Reno, Nev.

To keep up with all things Lobo baseball, follow @UNMLoboBaseball on Twitter and Instagram.