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Runion Homers Twice, Lobo Baseball Completes Season Sweep of New Mexico State

by Alma Solis

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico baseball team completed the Rio Grande Rivalry season series sweep with a 12-4 victory over in-state rival New Mexico State on Tuesday afternoon at Santa Ana Star Field.

Five Lobos notched multi-hit games, led by Chase Weissenborn who went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. Kamron Willman, Braydon Runion, Kyle Landers and Willie Cano each recorded two hits. Both of Runion’s hits were homeruns, becoming the second Lobo to have a two-homer game against the in-state rival New Mexico State this season as Lenny Junior Ashby did the same just a week ago (May 10).

On the mound, freshman starter Benjamin Baker-Livingston earned his second win in as many starts, pitching 5.0 innings and allowing just three runs on four hits, while fanning four batters. In the middle relief spot, Riley Egloff an impressive outing in which he threw 3.0 innings and allowed a single run on three hits. Terrell Hudson shut down the Aggies in the final inning, facing the minimum three batters and forcing two flyouts and a groundout.

After Baker-Livingston kept the Aggies scoreless in the top of the first, the Lobos got to work in the bottom of the frame. Willman opened the frame with a single to second base. After a couple outs, Runion stepped up to the plate and lifted his first home run of the afternoon to left field to give the Lobos an early 2-0 lead.

Baker-Livingston proceeded to force a quick three up-three down inning in the second on a groundout and two lineouts. Offensively, New Mexico added two more runs on the other half of the inning. After a groundout by Sean Stephens, Johnnie Podsednik singled to center field on the first pitch he saw. Then, Chase Weissenborn tripled to right center to drive in Podsednik.

Next, a groundout by Willman drove in Weissenborn to extend New Mexico’s lead to 4-0.

The Aggies put up a couple runs in the top of the third to make the score 4-2, still in favor of New Mexico. After a scoreless fourth frame, New Mexico State tacked on another run in the top of the fifth to make it a one-run 4-3 game, still in the Lobos favor. Baker-Livingston completed his outing as he struck out the final batter in the frame.

The Lobos responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. After a couple of groundouts to start the frame, Kyle Landers worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch count. It didn’t take long for him to be brought home as Willie Cano stepped up to the plate and swiftly lifted the first pitch he saw out past the right center field wall for a two-run blast, extending the Lobo lead to 6-3.

The sixth inning was the only other scoreless inning of the game. Riley Egloff came in to relieve Baker-Livingston and sat down the Aggies on a lineout, flyout and foul out.

New Mexico exploded for six runs in the seventh inning. Ashby opened the frame with a double, before Runion hit a two-run homerun on a 1-0 count, his second blast of the night.

A couple singles, plus a fly out and groundout, put two runners in scoring position with two outs. Weissenborn continued his breakout night as he singled to drive in both runners – Stephens and Cano.

Willman then tripled down the right field line to drive in Weissenborn, before Willman scored on a wild pitch to extend New Mexico’s lead to 12-3.

The Aggies scored a single run on a sacrifice fly but the Lobo pitching staff didn’t allow much besides that. Hudson shut down New Mexico State in an one-two-three ninth inning as New Mexico defeated New Mexico State by a final score of 12-4 in the fourth and final part of the Rio Grande Rivalry.

New Mexico’s record improves to 20-31 overall, while New Mexico State’s overall record falls to 18-31.

The squad will host Air Force for the regular season three-game series finale on May 19-21. First pitch for Thursday and Friday’s games are set for 6 p.m. (MT), while Saturday’s game is set for 12 p.m. The Lobos will also honor their six seniors – Cody Holtz, Kyle Landers, Johnny Podsednik, Miguel Reyes Jr., Lance Russell, and Kamron Willman.

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