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Lobos Sweep DH with Jackrabbits, Take Series 3-1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After walking South Dakota State off yesterday to even the series, New Mexico Baseball won both games of its doubleheader finale with two swings of the bat on Saturday, rallying to take Game One in the bottom of the ninth (9-8) with a game-winner from Will Asby before run-ruling the Jackrabbits in Game Two with a two-run homer from Gene Trujillo in the seventh inning for a 13-2 win.

After dropping the first matchup 11-5 on Thursday and trailing going into the bottom of the ninth on Friday, the Lobos conclude their Home Opening weekend at Santa Ana Star Field with a 3-1 series win, improving to 5-3 overall. Entering the weekend batting .219 as a team, the Lobos are now hitting at a .291 clip and have produced at least 12 hits in each of their last three.

“Tough-fought series — I was impressed w SDSU’s arms and lineup,” said UNM Head Coach Tod Brown. “We battled back all weekend and our guys showed a lot of toughness.

“We’re still playing a lot of different guys in the lineup and giving pitching opportunities to create competition at all positions — they’re locked in, and we hope to clean up some things and keep improving week to week.”

Josh McAlister (1 R, 1 RBI), Konner Kinkade (1 R, 1 RBI) and Ethan Ott (1 RBI) all finished with two hits each to lead a 12-hit effort for UNM — Khalil Walker (1 R, 1 BB), Jake Holland (1 R), Reed Spenrath (3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB), Tye Wood (1 RBI, 1 BB), Devon Dixon (1 R) and Will Asby (1 RBI) all added one each, with Asby’s game-winner coming in one at-bat as a pinch hitter for Dixon in the ninth.
RHP Ben Baker-Livingston struck out three without any walks over two innings in his second start, holding the Jackrabbits to two earned runs on three hits but exiting the game due to discomfort and being replaced by RHP Josh Barnhouse (3.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R/2ER, 3 K, 1 BB). LHP Daxton Purser calmed things down with 2 2/3 innings of relief, giving up two earned runs on two hits while striking out three and walking two but tossing a hitless eighth before LHP Justin Still closed things out with a scoreless ninth.

A pair of RBI singles and a sac fly from the Jackrabbits put UNM in a 3-0 hole early, and the Lobos didn’t lead until the bottom of the ninth. After UNM tied things up with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth — including RBI’s on a triple from Spenrath and double from Wood — SDSU scored three in the top of the fifth and extended the lead to 8-3 with a two-run homer in the seventh, leaving the Lobos with just nine outs to produce at least five runs.

But they did just that, loading the bases with nobody out and pushing across three runs in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI grounder from Ott, a throwing error and a fielder’s choice knock from McAlister and getting within one after Purser stopped the bleeding with a hitless eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Kinkade.

After Still’s scoreless ninth kept SDSU off the board in back-to-back innings for the first time all game, the Lobos struck again, with a leadoff double from Ott and walks from Spenrath and Wood loading the bases with less than two outs for a third straight frame. Andrew Neil — entering the game as a ninth-inning pinch runner for the second game in a row — hurried across on a wild pitch to score the tying run, and Asby deposited a single in center field in the next at-bat on a 2-2 count to make it back-to-back ninth-inning rallies for the Lobos.

The Lobos got their most complete offensive performance of the season in round two, with Luke Mansy leading a 14-hit effort with three hits and three runs scored. Konner Kinkade recorded a new career high with three RBI on two hits while scoring a run and drawing two walks, Will Asby (2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB) and Gene Trujillo (1 R, 2 RBI) both hit the first two UNM homers of the spring at Santa Ana Star Field and Sean Stephens (2 RBI) and Reed Spenrath (1 RBI) both finished with two knocks each to lead three other Lobos — Kyle Smith (2 R, 1 BB), Devon Dixon (1 R) and Tye Wood (2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB) — that had one each.

RHP Wil Bannister worked around seven hits — four of them being extra base hits — to hold the Jackrabbits to just two earned runs over five frames of work to earn his first win of the season. He struck out five while walking two. RHP Wyatt Hardy kept SDSU off the board the rest of the way to keep the Lobos in range for Trujillo’s game-ending two-runner, striking out three while being tagged for two hits with no walks. This weekend, UNM pitchers struck out 1.18 batters per inning while only issuing 0.21 walks per inning.

After providing the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth just 45 minutes prior, Asby hit the first Lobo homer of the year – and his third of the season – at Santa Ana Star Field in the bottom of the first, scoring both himself and Mansy to put the Lobos up in the first for the second game in a row. 

The Lobos tacked on two more in the next frame after Bannister worked around a triple in the top of the inning to keep SDSU scoreless with a pair of strikeouts, loading the bases with a double, a hit-by-pitch and a single before Kinkade connected on an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Another triple in the top of the third was cashed in by a sacrifice fly for the Jackrabbits’ first run, but UNM made it three straight innings with a pair of runs scored in the bottom of the inning with a pair of RBI singles from Tye Wood and Sean Stephens to extend the lead to 6-1.

Bannister stranded two on base in his next frame on the mound and the Lobos made it seven straight innings with a run scored going back to the final three frames of Game One after Spenrath brought in Mansy – who singled and advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch – with another big RBI double.

SDSU got one more back in the fifth on a solo homer, but the Lobos kept pouring on the offense over the final three frames as RHP Wyatt Hardy (3 K, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 H) kept SDSU’s bats quiet over two innings of relief, pushing three across in the fifth and another in the sixth to threaten to run-rule the Jackrabbits in the next inning with one more.

In a pinch-hit at-bat, true freshman Gene Trujillo did just that, mashing a two-run homer for his first collegiate game to end the game at 13-2 and effectively walk off the Jackrabbits a third consecutive time.

The Lobos stay home next week, playing host to Hofstra for four games March 1-3 with another doubleheader on Saturday. Live stats are available via, with streaming via the Mountain West Network at  — follow @UNMLoboBaseball on Instagram and X for live updates, highlights and more.