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Lobos' Homestand Continues vs. Hofstra This Weekend

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Riding a three-game winning streak after its home-opening series, New Mexico Baseball’s homestand continues as the Lobos (5-3) welcome Hofstra (2-4) for a four-game set at Santa Ana Star Field March 1-3. 

This weekend’s home series continues what will be a 12-game homestand for the Lobos, with a midweek against Texas Tech on March 5 before a three-game series against UNLV (March 8-10) opens up Mountain West play.

The Lobos are winners of three straight for the first time in the young season after taking their home-opening series in dramatic fashion last weekend. After dropping the opener 11-5 and trailing going into the bottom of the ninth of game two, the Lobos – at that point 2-3 on the season – looked to be on the ropes against a powerful South Dakota State lineup that hit .358 with 26 extra base hits in total on the weekend. 

But UNM rallied to walk the Jackrabbits off in the bottom of the ninth not once, but twice (9-8, 12-11) in the next two games before run-ruling them in the series finale in similar walkoff fashion thanks to a two-run homer from freshman Gene Trujillo that made it 13-2 and ended the game in the seventh. 

They’re looking to keep the momentum in another four-game set at home, this time against a 2-4 Pride team that opened the season with road series at Virginia and Liberty. getting swept by the Cavaliers (8-10, 3-12, 9-11) before taking the series on the road in Lynchburg last weekend (9-7, 4-9, 12-6).

Friday’s series opener is set for a 2 p.m. first pitch, with Saturday’s doubleheader action beginning at noon (second game roughly 30 minutes following) and Sunday’s finale also at noon. All four games will be streamed via the Mountain West Network at Follow @UNMLoboBaseball on socials for game day updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.

Fans who attend this weekends’ series at Santa Ana Star Field will get free pom-poms as part of this week’s promotional giveaway.

March 1-3 | Albuquerque, N.M. | Santa Ana Star Field
FRIDAY, MARCH 1 – 2 p.m.
Probable Starters: RHP David Lopez vs. RHP Michael O’Hanlon
SATURDAY, MARCH 2 (DH) – 2 p.m.
Probable Starters (Game 1): RHP Wil Bannister vs. RHP Steven Kaenzig
Probable Starters (Game 2): RHP Brett Russell vs. RHP Carlos Martinez
SUNDAY, MARCH 3 – 12 p.m.
Probable Starters: TBA vs. TBA

UNM’s bats came alive last weekend in their first action at home, with the Lobos hitting for a .364 average against the Jackrabbits with 17 extra base hits. Eight different Lobos batted above .300 over the four-game set – Konner Kinkade (.600), Sean Stephens (.462), Luke Mansy (.444), Ethan Ott (.400), Tye Wood (.375), Reed Spenrath (.353), Khalil Walker (.333) and Will Asby (.308) – and UNM is up to a .291 team average after batting .219 through the first four games of the season in Surprise.

Getting the start at second base with Devon Dixon moving over to shortstop in Chase Weissenborn’s short-term absence with injury, Kinkade had a career weekend against the Jackrabbits, connecting on his lone extra base hit of the season to tie things up in the bottom of the ninth on Friday and finishing with a career-high three RBI in the series finale. Along with Kinkade, Spenrath and Asby both drove in a team-high five runs each, with Asby connecting on his third homer of the season in the finale.

The Lobos’ pitching staff weathered punches from a hard-hitting SDSU lineup that averaged 14.0 hits and 6.88 extra base hits per nine innings over the four-game set, but UNM pitchers struck out 40 over the weekend while only issuing seven walks in total to keep the Jackrabbits off the board when the Lobos needed it most. After SDSU plated two runs in the top of the ninth to go ahead late in Game Two, the Jackrabbits didn’t score in the final two innings of either of their next two matchups.

UNM is 5-0 against Hofstra all-time with all five matchups being in Albuquerque – the two teams most recently faced in a three-game series in 2020 in which both teams scored double-digit runs every game and UNM won by one run in all three (12-11, 14-13, 11-10). Coach Brown has never faced the Pride during any point in his D-I head coaching career.

– RHP David Lopez (1-0) moves into the Friday starting role this weekend after lasting the longest of any UNM starter in each of his first two appearances for a total of 9 ⅔ IP. The junior juco transfer has averaged 78 total pitches per outing, and the Lobos are 2-0 in his two starts – he struck out five last Friday to limit the damage to six earned runs despite 11 SDSU hits during the time he was on the mound.
– For the first leg of Saturday’s doubleheader, RHP Wil Bannister will make his second start for the Lobos after notching career highs in both innings pitched (5.0) and strikeouts (5) after getting his first first career start against SDSU in the doubleheader finale. Totaling 83 pitches, Bannister held the Jackrabbits to just two runs while working around seven hits and two walks.
– RHP Brett Rusell will get the start on the mound for the first time since 2022 on Saturday after notching a career-high eight punchouts in a relief outing last Thursday. After letting two earned runs across in his first inning of the season, Russell proceeded to retire 12 straight to close things out, finishing without a single walk (5.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R / 2 ER, 8 K, 0 BB).
– Sunday’s starter is still TBA.

– UNM batters drew 28 walks in total over the weekend – the Lobos rank No. 1 in the Mountain West in total base on balls (53) through eight games and No. 22 nationally. Khalil Walker (1.14) and Tye Wood (1.00) rank No. 1 and 2 in the MW in walks per game, with Wood leading the conference in on-base percentage (.615) as well.
– UNM has also racked up the most total hits (79) and runs (57) in the conference through eight games, with Konner Kinkade ranking fifth in the league in batting average (.400) and Stephens ranking 10th (.375). Stephens hit two triples last weekend — more than he’s hit in a single season during his time at UNM (2021 -) to tie for the most in the league.
– Will Asby’s third home run of the year – and the first for the Lobos at Santa Ana Star Field this season – last Saturday put him into a tie for the most in the league. 

The Lobos’ 12 double plays in total on the season rank No. 2 in the nation and No. 1 in the MW, and their 1.50 DP’s per game rank No. 6 in the nation. Reed Spenrath has helped stitch 11 of those 12 total double plays while holding it down at first base, with 52 putouts and seven assists without any errors on 59 opportunities.

– The Pride were swept in three games to open the season by then-No. 11 Virginia, but sit at 2-4 on the season after a road series win against Liberty (9-7, 4-9, 12-6) last weekend. Hofstra is coming off a 26-26 season in 2023, returning 22 players from that team including five position starters and 14 pitchers. Steve Harrington and Dylan Palmer were both All-CAA selections in 2023, while the pair and Will Kennedy were tabbed as Preseason Honorable Mention All-CAA selections going into 2024.
– Hofstra also has 14 newcomers, with several expected to make an immediate impact led by outfielder Alex McCoy and first baseman Sean Lane. The pair are penciled in the Pride’s projected starting lineup. 

– Ethan Ott is batting .316 and has five RBI this season – all of which coming in his last three games – but hasn’t driven any in with a hit yet. His first two RBIs were a pair of bases-loaded walks against CSU Bakersfield (Feb. 19), followed by a fielder’s choice RBI and a sac fly against SDSU (Feb. 23) followed by an RBI groundout the next day in the doubleheader finale (Feb. 24).
– Reed Spenrath has an 11-game on base streak dating back to the end of the 2023 season, even though he didn’t have a hit this season until Feb. 22. He drew one walk in each of his first five games, and finished with two hits in the two games that he didn’t draw at least one base on balls.
– LHP Justin Still is keeping it difficult in relief, with a 0.00 ERA over 4 innings of work. Opposing batters are hitting just .091 against him, and he struck out three in three clean innings of relief in his debut against Minnesota in Surprise.

– UNM looks to improve its standing in the Mountain West for a third consecutive season – the Lobos finished sixth (10-20 MW) in Brown’s first season as head coach in 2022 and narrowly missed out on the conference tournament with a fifth-place finish (13-17 MW) in 2023.
– The Lobos’ offense in 2023 was one of their most productive in recent memory – UNM’s .328 team batting average was the third-best in the NCAA and best in the Mountain West, as well as the Lobos’ best since 2013.
– UNM’s 26-25 record in 2023 was the most wins since 2017 and first winning season since then (not counting UNM’s 14-4 record in the canceled COVID season of 2020).
– Reed Spenrath has been named to the Mountain West Baseball Preseason All-Conference Team, with the Lobos picked fifth in the preseason poll as voted on by the league’s coaches. Spenrath was named to’s Top 50 First Baseman rankings last week, coming in at No. 46 in the nation. He was named one of three captains for this year’s Lobos squad along with fellow seniors Chase Weissenborn and Brett Russell.

– In his first five seasons as head coach at North Dakota State, Brown’s teams improved their winning percentage in each season, going from 15-30 (.333) in his first season in 2008 to 40-20 (.667) in 2012 and finishing each of the next nine seasons above .400. The Bison reached the Summit League tournament eight times in that span, advancing to NCAA Regionals in 2014 and 2021.
– Brown coached the Bison to 40-win seasons in 2012 and 2021.
– In Brown’s second season at UNM, the Lobos improved to 26-25 from 21-33 the year prior, with the highest team batting average since 2013 (.328) and lowest team ERA since 2016 (5.95).
– In 16 years as a D-I Head Coach, Brown has finished the season above .400 13 times and above .500 five times – the only three seasons in which he’s finished below .400 were his first two years in Grand Forks (2008, 2009) and his first season in Albuquerque (2022).

– UNM Senior First Baseman Reed Spenrath was named to’s Top 50 first baseman rankings, coming in at No. 46 in the nation. A first-team all-conference selection in first season with the Lobos, Spenrath led the team and ranked second in the conference in 2023 with 19 home runs – the sixth-most in a single season in program history – and 65 RBIs. The 6’5” power hitter also led the team and ranked third in the conference with 54 runs scored, batting .321 while reaching base at a clip of .421. He finished the season with 16 multi-hit games and 18 multi-RBI games.

– UNM’s 2024 roster includes 16 returning players with 24 newcomers – the Lobos return seven position players who started at least 10 games in 2023 and losing six.
– Of the Lobos’ newcomers, 8 are freshmen and 16 are transfers – 12 from junior colleges and four from four-year institutions.
– 29 players are upperclassmen – 13 seniors and 16 juniors – the most upperclassmen Brown has had on a roster in Albuquerque.

– The Lobos lost three weekend starters (Tristin Lively, Riley Egloff, ) to graduation, but return LHP Jaren Jackson, who made eight starts last season while pitching the most innings of any returner (44.2 IP).
– Five returners – Brian McBroom, Arthur Steinkamp, Ben Baker-Livingston, Justin Still and Wil Bannister — all saw significant action in ‘23. UNM brings in 12 incoming pitchers this season – eight transfers and four freshmen.
– Steinkamp posted the lowest ERA of any pitcher with more than two appearances in 2023 (2.81), going his final 10 appearances without walking a single batter and only walking four on the season.
– McBroom led the Lobos with 25 appearances all out of the bullpen in ‘23, leading the team and ranking seventh in the conference with three saves while allowing zero or one earned runs in 20 appearances.

– UNM returns three starters that batted above .300 in 2023 – Jake Holland (.333), Reed Spenrath (.321) and Sean Stephens (.349). Spenrath and Holland led the team in slugging percentage last year, with Spenrath slugging at a .721 clip and Holland at .633, good for second and fourth-best in the Mountain West that season.
– The Lobos also return senior middle infield duo Chase Weissenborn (.291) and Devon Dixon (.274). Weissenborn is the Lobos’ only returning player who started every game in 2023. Dixon and Weissenborn both connected on 10 doubles each last season.
– Other experienced seniors include catcher/DH Kyle Smith (20 starts in ‘23, 5 HR, 13 RBI) and infielder Konner Kinkade (10 starts, 35 appearances, 4 2B, 12 RBI). Both have earned multiple starts through the first eight games.

– UNM’s .328 batting average in 2023 was its highest since 2013 – The Lobos led the Mountain West in that category and ranked third nationally.
– The Lobos hit 87 home runs – their most since 2003. That total led the Mountain West and is the third most in program history.
– UNM slugged .559 on the season, the sixth-highest in program history and highest since 2003, leading the Mountain West.
– With a .974 fielding percentage – second-highest in program history (2017) – the Lobos led the Mountain West.
– Improving from a a 9.06 ERA as a team in Brown’s first season to a 5.95, UNM only allowed 3.20 walks per nine innings, its lowest average since 2014 and the best in the Mountain West. The Lobos’ 1.59 WHIP was its lowest since 2015.
– UNM scored 441 runs (most since 2017, led MW) and racked up 617 hits (most since 2017, led MW) to go with 24 triples (most since 2015, led MW) and 411 RBI (most since 2017, led MW).
– Lobo batters reached base at a .406 clip, UNM’s best average since 2017 (Led MW).
– UNM turned 48 double plays in 51 games, the most in the MW and 33rd-most in the nation. The Lobos’ .94 double plays per game ranked No. 9 in the nation.

Josh McAlister | INF | JR
The junior infielder transferred to UNM from Ohio State over the offseason, where he appeared in 87 games over three seasons, starting 76. He posted career-highs in walks (25), RBI (18) and fielding percentage (.954) in 36 games for the Buckeyes in 2023, and has started all four games at third base for the Lobos, getting on base in all four and finishing with four hits and two RBI as well as his fifth career homer.
BROWN ON MCALISTER: “Very athletic, good defensive player; has some juice in his bat and can hit doubles and home runs. He brings some experience at the Division I level coming in.”

Tye Wood | OF | JR
A junior college transfer by way of Iowa Western, Wood hit for a .413 average last season at Iowa Western en route to his second First Team All-Region honor in as many seasons. In 2023, the switch-hitting outfielder connected on 16 doubles and five triples while stealing 23 bases. He’s finished with a hit and a run in all three games he appeared in over the weekend, drawing three walks.
BROWN ON WOOD: “He’s had a nice spring so far – he’s a guy that we expect to see a lot of playing action early.”

Khalil Walker | OF | JR
Another JuCo transfer outfielder, Walker comes to UNM by way of Eastern Arizona College, where he was named First Team All-ACCAC and Second Team All-Region while also finishing the season as a National Golden Glove nominee. He hit .350 for EAC last season, getting on base at a .458 clip while driving in 31 runs for the Gila Monsters. In 11 at-bats over his first weekend of action, Walker drew four walks and scored a pair of runs, connecting on a big double against Minnesota.
BROWN ON WALKER: “Left-handed hitter, high-speed guy, high-contact guy that can steal bases. Big defender in the outfield.”

Andrew Neil | RHP/INF | JR
Neil – a two-way player during his two seasons at Folsom Lake CC – was slated to start Friday’s season opener for the Lobos before a hand injury. He displays a potent three-pitch mix and accumulated a 9-3 record on the mound with a 4.44 ERA last season for the Falcons, hitting .320 with 25 RBI to go with eight doubles and three homers.
BROWN ON NEIL: “Hopefully here in the next two, three weeks, he’ll resume starting to throw and get back out there. He’s gonna be a big part of our pitching staff, either as a starter or a closer.”

– UNM’s 54-game 2024 schedule, including 30 Mountain West Conference games, features five different teams that reached NCAA Regionals last spring – Oregon State, Texas Tech, Arizona, San Jose State and Sam Houston State – with 27 games against nine opponents that ranked in the Top 150 in the nation in last season’s final RPI rankings.
– UNM will play 30 games at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque and 24 games on the road throughout the regular season.
– UNM’s first midweek matchup of the season with Texas Tech – who the Lobos walked off with a ninth-inning Jake Holland homer for an 11-10 win at home in their last meeting – is set for March 5.
– Mountain West play begins March 8-10 with a home series against UNLV, with UNM’s first true road games of the season the following week with a midweek matchup at Arizona State (March 12) and a three-game conference swing with Nevada in Reno (March 15-17).
– The first of four Rio Grande Rivalry matchups with New Mexico State will take place on March 19 at home before UNM plays host to defending MW Champions San Jose State (March 22-24). They’ll face the Aggies twice more in Las Cruces (April 9, April 30) before concluding the four-game season series at home on May 7.
– After a MW series with San Diego State on the road March 28-30, the Lobos get four consecutives matchups with 2023 NCAA Regional qualifiers, set for a midweek matchup with Arizona in Tucson on April 2 before returning home to host 2023 WAC Champions Sam Houston State for a three-game set April 5-7 – UNM’s final multi-game nonconference series of the season.
– Up next, another four-game homestand includes UNM’s only MW series with Fresno State April 12-14 before a matchup with D-II CSU-Pueblo on April 16. The Lobos then travel to Air Force – another MW opponent they’ll only face in one series – for a three-game series April 19-21 before heading down to Lubbock, Texas for their second and final meeting with Texas Tech April 23. Rematches with San Diego State at home (April 26-28), UNLV on the road (May 3-5), Nevada at home (May 10-12) and San Jose State on the road (May 16-18) comprise the remainder of UNM’s regular season, with Senior Day set for May 12.
– Should the Lobos finish among the Top Four in the Mountain West standings, they’ll earn a berth to the MWC Championships May 23-25, hosted this year by San Diego State. The winner earns the conference’s automatic berth to an NCAA Regional.