Lobos Host Air Force for Three-Game Series Finale
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team close out their season with a three-game home series against Air Force on Thursday-Saturday. First pitch of Thursday’s and Friday’s games are set for 6 p.m. (MT), while Saturday’s finale is set for noon.
Before Saturday’s series finale, six seniors who are moving on after this season – Cody Holtz, Kyle Landers, Johnnie (Shane) Podsednik, Miguel Reyes Jr., Lance Russell and Kamron Willman – will be honored approximately 30 minutes before.
LAST WEEK FOR THE LOBOS
- New Mexico completed the season series sweep of in-state rival New Mexico State after a 12-4 win on Tuesday. Benjamin Baker-Livingston earned his second win in as many starts after 5.0 innings pitched and three runs on four hits.
- Braydon Runion had a two-homerun game. Chase Weissenborn went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs. Willie Cano also notched a homerun, his second of the season.
- The Lobos are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Pac-12 squad California.
- The team was shut out in games one and three, 11-0 and 8-0, but scored a few runs in the 23-5 loss in game two.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS
- New Mexico holds a 148-53 lead over Air Force in the all-time series, including an 85-18 record at home.
- The first time the two teams faced each other was in 1957 when UNM suffered an 8-7 loss to AF.
- The last time the Lobos faced the Falcons earlier this season in Colorado Springs, New Mexico took two games of the three-game series.
- Air Force holds a 25-26 record (13-14 in Mountain West action), taking two of three against San Jose State in their final home series this past weekend (May 13-15).
- Sam Kulasingam leads the Falcons with a .414 batting average, 91 hits, 53 RBI and 59 runs, while starting in 51 games.
BAKER-LIVINGSTON FINDS HIS GROOVE
- Freshman Benjamin Baker-Livingston is beginning to find his groove on the mound. He was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Week on April 25, after a pair of good outings against Texas Tech and at UNLV the previous week.
- After two tough outings against Oregon State opening weekend and at Texas Tech mid-March, he has dominated the mound since.
- In the Lobos’ 11-10 walk-off win over No. 9 Texas Tech on April 19, he kept the hot-hitting Red Raiders to a single run on two hits while fanning three in 2.1 innings of relief.
- The Richardson, Texas, native completed 1.1 innings and allowed no runs on only three hits to the conference leading Rebels in New Mexico’s 13-11 series finale loss at UNLV on April 24.
- He earned his first career start on May 10 against in-state rival New Mexico State, allowing a single run on four hits in 4.0 innings pitched and earning his first win. After the outing, he earned his second career MW Freshman of the Week award on May 16.
- After transferring from Texas Tech, Braydon Runion has recently emerged as one of the Lobos’ two sluggers this season, notching 12 home runs this season – right behind Lenny Junior Ashby’s 15.
- Runion hit three home runs on April 15 against San Diego State, becoming the first Lobo to connect for three jacks in a single game since Carl Stajduhar on May 6, 2017.
- Despite missing a few games at the beginning of the season, Runion has stepped up since then, earning himself 37 starts and 40 total games played.
- The Florence, Ky., native also hit a solo home run against his previous team – the Red Raiders – on March 16.
THE FIGHT IN THE DOG PREVAILS
- New Mexico has notched two huge wins against top-15 teams this season, including a 12-7 win over then-No. 11 Arizona on March 23 and a 11-10 victory over No. 9 Texas Tech on April 19.
- After losing the first matchup against the Wildcats earlier in the season in Tucson, the Lobos got their revenge as they hosted then-No. 11 Arizona and took the victory, 12-7.
- The score and lead jumped back and forth through the first two innings, but then the Lobos had an offensive explosion for six runs in the bottom of the fourth.
- Lobo relief pitching came in clutch as the five pitchers to get some innings of relief allowed only two runs through the final six innings.
- Justin Olson launched a grand slam in the Lobos’ big six-run fourth inning, his first home run in the Lobo uniform. His grand slam was the first Lobo grand slam since Carl Stajduhar vs. San Diego State on May 26, 2017. Nearly five years since the last time it happened.
- The Arizona win marked the Lobos first win over a ranked opponent since a 12-9 victory over then-No. 11 Texas Tech on April 3, 2019.
- The Lobos then defeated No. 9 Texas Tech on a 11-10 walk-off win, thanks to a Jeffrey David three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth.
- The last time the Lobos defeated the Red Raiders was on April 3, 2019, when New Mexico took a 12-9 win over the then-No. 11 Texas Tech squad. New Mexico last won a matchup against a top-ten team on April 25, 2017, against none other than the then-No. 6 Red Raiders, defeating Tech by a score of 16-5.
SUNNY SIDE UP
- Riley Egloff was named the MW Pitcher of the Week on March 21 after a career outing against Wichita State on March 18.
- Egloff turned in his best outing in the Lobo uniform against the Shockers, shutting down Wichita State in a career-high eight innings while fanning a career-high nine batters, allowing just four hits for no runs.
- The Littleton, Colo., native has played a variety of roles for the Lobos.
- He started off the season as New Mexico’s Friday ace, but has recently moved to the closer spot within the past month. He has spotted a 6-5 record in nine starts and 15 appearances this season.
TOUCH ‘EM ALL ASHBY
- Lenny Junior Ashby is one of the Lobos biggest contributors with a .333 batting average, 66 hits, 39 runs and 54 RBI.
- The Oranjestad, Aruba, native was named the MW Player of the Week on March 14 after hitting three jacks and a double for a .444 batting average the week of March 7.
- With a total of 32 extra base hits (16 doubles, one triple and conference-leading 15 home runs) this season, Ashby has established himself as New Mexico’s power hitter.
END OF GAME CLEANUP
- Brian McBroom, a transfer from Howard College, has established himself as one of the Lobos’ key closers throughout the season.
- In 17 appearances, McBroom holds a 2-2 record and has notched three saves.
- The Oakley, Calif., native has pitched 39.0 innings and struck out 28 batters during that time. He holds opponents to a .321 batting average.
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
- With 22 triples and .43 average per game so far, New Mexico leads the Mountain West.
- With 13 starts on the season, Brett Russell is tied for second in most starts.
- With four triples, Jeffrey David is fourth in the conference.
- Lenny Junior Ashby has the Mountain West-leading 15 homeruns.
- Braydon Runion has the second most home runs per game in the conference (.30).
- Kyle Landers is sixth in the conference with 18 doubles and fifth in the conference with .38 doubles per game.
- The Lobos is second in the nation in turning double plays with 55 DP’s (Baylor leads with 58) and fourth in the nation with 1.08 double plays turned per game (Baylor leads with 1.18pg).
- The middle infield consists of a combination of either Kamron Willman, Chase Weissenborn, Cole Posey or Lance Russell. All together, the four of them account for 343 assists and 186 putouts.
DONT RUN ON THE ‘BOS
- Catcher Cody Holtz threw out three Spartans runners trying to steal second base in the conference-opening San Jose State series. He threw out another against Fresno State.
- Johnny (Shane) Podsednik has thrown four out this season, one vs Holy Cross, one at Wichita State, one at Air Force and one vs San Diego State.
- The Lobos have caught 12 stealing so far this season.
A BROWN NEW ERA
- In July of 2021, Tod Brown was hired as the Lobos new head coach to fill the role of 14-year former UNM coach Ray Birmingham, who retired at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
- A native of Arizona, Brown returns home to the southwest after spending the past 14 years as North Dakota State’s head coach, earning a 341-350 record during that time.
LANDERS ON BOBBY BRAGAN WATCH LIST
- Senior first baseman/designated hitter Kyle Landers was named to the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List prior to the start of the season.
- He held a .293 batting average with 11 doubles, a triple and a homerun for a .467 slugging percentage last season (2021).
- He was the conference batting champ with a .417 batting average and .567 slugging percentage in the shortened 2020 season.
- This season, Landers has a .302 batting average with a team-leading 18 doubles.
SOMETHING TO PROVE
- Coming off a 16-25 record, the Lobos finished sixth in the conference last season, preceding only San Jose State.
- The squad was voted to finish sixth in the preseason conference poll.
- With an almost completely new coaching staff and roster, the Lobos are hoping to turn things around.
- The Lobos surpassed their win total of 16 wins from last year with 11 more games to go. They currently have 20 wins on the season with three games to go.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
- New Mexico’s 2022 squad includes 18 newcomers – three DI transfers, 12 JUCO transfers, and three true freshmen.
- Kamron Willman (K-State transfer) has been an asset in the middle infield for the Lobos. Playing short and second, he has 63 putouts and 106 assists.
- Lenny Junior Ashby (Odessa College transfer) has contributed greatly to the squad with a .333 batting average, 54 RBI, 39 runs, 69 hits and 32 extra-base hits, being the only Lobo to start in all 51 games.
- Jeffrey David (Dallas Baptist transfer) has started in 48 of 51 games, notching 65 hits and 38 runs, while hitting .325 batting average.
- Owen Loesch (Seminole State JC transfer) and Brian McBroom (Howard College transfer) have been assets out of the bullpen for New Mexico, combining for 62.2 innings and 47 strikeouts.
LIVELY UP THE PLACE
- Tristin Lively was named to the nine-player Preseason All-Mountain West team on February 10. The all-conference team is voted on by coaches around the league.
- Lively has the second-best ERA of returning starting pitchers for the Lobos (4.59 ERA in the spring of 2021).
- In 33.1 innings of work last season, he struck out 36 batters and held opponents to a .186 batting average.
I’M THE CAPTAIN NOW
- Prior to the start of the season, the 2022 squad voted on the team captains.
- The captains were selected solely by the student-athletes.
- Newcomers Kamron Willman and Cody Holtz, along with returner Adam Schneider, were named the 2022 team captains.
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