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Ashby Take MW Home Run Lead, Lobo Baseball Drops Game One to Air Force

by Alma Solis

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team fell to Air Force, 25-6, in game one of the three-game series at home at Santa Ana Star Field.

Two Lobos had multi-hit games as both Willie Cano and Chase Weissenborn both went 2-for-4. Cano also scored a run and knocked in two. Lenny Junior Ashby hit his 16th home run of the season, taking the lone lead in the conference as he surpassed Hunter Dorraugh of San Jose State’s 15 homers.

The Falcons opened up scoring as they brought across a run in the top of the first. The Lobos quickly responded in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and a 1-0 pitch count, Ashby lifted a solo homerun to right center for his 16th of the season.

Air Force took the 4-1 lead in the top of the second after plating a few more runs. The Falcons added two more runs in the next inning, but the Lobos made a great back pick play of the lead runner at third and southpaw starter Matt Haley notched his first strikeout of the game.

The Falcons continued to add onto their lead with two more runs in the fourth for an 8-1 lead, but Haley ended the inning with his second strikeout of the night.

Air Force exploded for 10 runs through the fifth and sixth innings to extend its lead to 18-1. Will Armbruester came in to relieve Haley in the fifth, later making a pop up play to end the sixth.

After scoring a single run in the seventh, the Falcons were kept quiet for the first time in the eighth as Miguel Reyes Jr. allowed a single but forced three outs including a swinging strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.

For the first time since the first inning, the Lobos added runs to the board, as they cut their deficit to 19-6. Jeffrey David doubled down the right field line on the first pitch he saw. After Ashby lined out, Jack Silverman struck out but reached first on a wild pitch, then Justin Olson walked to load the bases. Cano then stepped up to the plate and doubled to right field on the first pitch he saw, driving in David and Silverman.

After a strikeout by Sean Stephens, Kyle Smith then singled to center field to bring home a couple more as Olson and Cano both came in to score.

Weissenborn singled up the middle on a full 3-2 pitch count, advancing K. Smith to put runners on the corners. During Lance Russell’s at-bat, K. Smith was able to score on a wild pitch.

Air Force added another six runs to their lead in the top of the ninth. Arthur Steinkamp came in to relieve Reyes Jr and get the final out of the frame and did exactly that on a comeback liner straight to him.

The Lobos were sat down in order in the bottom of the inning, falling 25-6 to Air Force in the Friday matchup.

The Lobos and Falcons go head-to-head for the second game of the series on Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. (MT) at Santa Ana Star Field.

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