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Asby’s 2 Homers, 3 RBI Lift Lobos Over Bakersfield in Surprise, 4-3

SURPRISE, Ariz. – New Mexico Baseball notched its first win of the 2024 season Friday evening at Surprise Stadium, leaning on a monster three-RBI, two-homer night from Will Asby and some clutch defense to hold off the CSU Bakersfield 4-3 on Day Two of the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic.

The Lobos improve to 1-1 on the season, with the Roadrunners dipping to 0-2. They’ll face each other one more time at Surprise Stadium on Monday at 2 p.m.

Asby produced three of five hits and three of four RBI for the Lobos with two home runs and a single – as well as a run-saving diving grab in the outfield – with Josh McAlister also homering and Konner Kinkade adding a single to round out the Lobos’ bats. Luke Mansy and Reed Spenrath both got on base once with a walk each, with Kyle Smith getting aboard on a hit-by-pitch before Asby’s single got him across for UNM’s all-important fourth run.

Saturday was the first time since March 4, 2022 — a 5-0 win on the road at San Jose State — that UNM won with 5 hits and only the second time a Brown-coached Lobos team has done so. In Brown’s first two seasons in Albuquerque, UNM was 1-6 in games in which the Lobos finished with five hits.

RHP David Lopez made a solid first impression in his first start for UNM on the mound, retiring the first six he faced and holding the Runners to two earned runs on four hits over five frames of work while striking out two and walking two. RHP Wil Bannister (2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) and RHP Brian McBroom (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) kept the Lobos’ lead intact the rest of the way, with McBroom ending the game in the top of the ninth with back-to-back strikeouts to slam the door on a CSUB comeback and earn his first save of the season.

Excellent pitching by Lopez, Bannister and McBroom — all three really competed with a lot of strikes with multiple pitches,” said UNM Head Coach Tod Brown. “Asby was really the story of the offense — three huge hits, and that diving play in the 8th was just as big.”

UNM will face Minnesota on Day Three in Surprise tomorrow, with first pitch set for 5 p.m. MT. Head to for this weekend’s FloBaseball streaming options and live stats links all in one place.

– The trio of Lopez, Bannister and McBroom held CSUB to seven hits — with only one double — while walking two and striking out four. Of Lopez’ 73 total pitches, 61.6% (45) were strikes — McBroom needed just 13 pitches to get through the final four batters, 11 of which being strikes (84.6%). UNM pitchers tossed four 1-2-3 innings, inducing 13 flyouts and 10 grounders in total.
– With his second solo shot, Asby — a grad transfer by way of San Francisco — matched an NCAA career high he first set as a Don with a pair of homers against San Diego on April 4, 2023 as well as matching his career-high in single-game hits.
– McAlister’s homer was just the fifth of the junior’s career — he appeared in 54 games for Ohio State across the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
– Asby (RF), Kinkade (LF), Smith (Catcher) and Mansy (DH) all got their first starts of the season after getting an at-bat each against Oregon State on Friday. 13 different position players have started for the Lobos in the first two games of the 2024 season, with 14 getting at least one at-bat.
– Despite still being hitless so far this season, Reed Spenrath has drawn a walk in both games for a five-game on-base streak that dates back to last season.
– McBroom’s save was the sixth of his career and his 14th scoreless relief appearance of at least an inning for UNM.

Lopez was sharp from the onset in his D-I debut, tossing a clean 1-2-3 inning with a first-pitch flyout, a putout at first and an assist in succession. He kept rolling in the second after Luke Mansy (BB) was stranded in the bottom of the inning, throwing three consecutive strikes to open with his first punchout before inducing another flyout and a grounder to keep things moving.

In the first two at-bats of the bottom of the second, Josh McAlister and Will Asby’s back-to-back solo homers gave the Lobos their first lead of the season at 2-0 – McAlister, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run on Opening Day, crushed the first pitch he saw over center field and Asby worked his way to a 3-1 count before slamming one over left field.

Lopez found his first trouble of the game in the third, with a single, a wild pitch and a grounder getting CSUB’s Nick Salas to third with deuces wild. He was brought in by another base knock from Jared Bujanda McConnell to cut the lead to one run before Lopez halted the advance with a flyout to right.

He regained momentum after the Lobos were retired in order in the third, working his way around a walk on Silva when Weissenborn and Spenrath connected on a double play to end the inning.

Asby produced his second home run in as many at-bats in the bottom of the fourth to put the Lobos back up by two runs, smoking a 1-1 pitch from Grosjean over right field this time.  

Small ball continued to challenge Lopez in the fifth, when a base hit and a walk pushed CSUB’s Konnor Palmeira to scoring position and a left-field single from Elijah Pelayo brought him in to cut the lead to one again. The Runners successfully pulled off a double steal to reach second and third after an infield fly generated the second out, but Lopez ended the inning with his second punchout of the day.

Bannister took over from there, producing a 1-2-3 inning of his own to keep things calm before Asby brought in Kyle Smith – who reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced on a grounder – with a single. Asby reached second on the throw, but was stranded there when Grosjean – now in his sixth inning of work – picked up his eighth strikeout of the game on Kinkade.

Nonetheless, CSUB kept pressuring the Lobos the same way, getting back within one on the Runners’ third RBI single of the game before Bannister induced a popup to keep UNM ahead.

After the Lobos’ bats were retired in succession for the third time, Bakersfield threatened again in the top of the eighth, getting a runner in scoring position with one out on the board. Asby made an impressive diving grab in right field to nullify what would’ve likely been a game-tying RBI single for the second out, and McBroom induced an inning-ending flyout on his second pitch after taking over in relief to end the frame with the score unchanged.

CSUB reliever Jacob Gutierrez threatened to retire the Lobos in order again in the eighth, opening with a pair of punchouts on Mansy and Smith with Spenrath – who was 0-7 on the season at that point. Spenrath drew a walk to bring up McAlister, but Gutierrez got him to two strikes before he lined out to left to keep the margin at one.

McBroom returned to the mound in the ninth with three outs left to get the Lobos in the win column – he made quick work of the three batters he faced, inducing a two-strike flyout before landing strikes on six of his next seven pitches to seal the win.

Sunday’s game is set for a 5 p.m. (MT) start, with RHP Dayne Pengelly set to get the start on the mound against Minnesota RHP Will Semb. Live stats and streaming options are available via  — follow @UNMLoboBaseball on Instagram and X for live updates, highlights and more.