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Lobos Take Series Opener at SDSU, 5-2

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – New Mexico Baseball beat San Diego State for the first time since 2021 in its Mountain West series opener Thursday evening at Tony Gwynn Stadium, with a momentum-swinging three-run double from Akili Carris and a dominant pitching effort that kept the Aztecs off the board for the first seven frames lifting the Lobos (15-9, 7-3 MW) to a 5-2 win.

With the win, the Lobos snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Aztecs and put themselves in position to secure their first series win over SDSU since 2019 in tomorrow’s doubleheader action that gets underway at 3 p.m. MT. They improve to 7-3 in MW play, winners of three in a row and five of their last six.

In his second start of the season on the bump, RHP Dayne Pengelly tossed five scoreless innings and scattered five hits with a career-high six strikeouts to improve to 3-1 in games of record – he’s earned a win in three of his last four outings. The Aztecs broke up the shutout with two runs in the eighth with LHP Jaren Jackson on the mound, but the senior lefty struck out two in that frame to stop the bleeding and slammed the door on a rally in the ninth with 1-2-3 inning. Over four innings of work, Jackson finished with four strikeouts and two earned runs on two hits and a walk to earn his second career save — he’s now struck out at least four batters in four different outings this year, finishing with multiple punchouts in six.

After a week in which they averaged 12.75 runs and 13 hits per game, the Lobos won despite only picking up four knocks to the Aztecs’ seven – they drew six walks in a five-run fifth, with Akili Carris coming through with a huge bases-clearing double to give UNM a 3-0 lead before a pair of bases-loaded walks extended the lead to 5-0. Along with Carris (3 RBI, 1 R), Sean Stephens (1 R), Reed Spenrath and Devon Dixon (1 R) all finished with a hit each – Ethan Ott scored a run and drove in another with a pair of walks to lead six other Lobos that got one base on balls each. In total, the Lobos drew eight walks – all of which from the fifth inning onward.

“Big-time start from Pengelly and excellent job by Jackson in relief,” said UNM Head Coach Tod Brown. “We gave some quality at-bats in that five-run inning and took advantage — hats off to Akili for getting the big hit we needed.”

Tomorrow’s doubleheader is set for a 3 p.m. MT first pitch, with the second game set to get started roughly 45 minutes following the competition of the first. Friday’s action will be live streamed via YouTube and is available via, with live stats available via Follow @UNMLoboBaseball on IG, X and Facebook for gameday updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.

Even as the Lobos’ bats sputtered out the gate with just two hits over the first four frames, Pengelly kept things scoreless for the Aztecs his entire time on the mound, notching a new career-high with six punchouts by the fourth inning. He allowed back-to-back singles in the bottom of the first but responded with five outs in succession, three of them by strikeout.

The Lobos finally got the opportunity they needed in the fifth, loading the bases with one out on two walks and a hit-by-pitch to cue SDSU starter Chris Canada’s departure from the game. Up next, Carris drove the first pitch he saw from reliever Jonny Guzman down the left field line for a bases-clearing double to break up the scoreless tie with UNM up 3-0.

With one out on the board and a runner still in scoring position, Stephens, Asby and Holland all drew walks in succession to load the bases a second time and churn out a fourth run before SDSU went back to the bullpen. New reliever Chris Canavan struck out Spenrath to get the second out in the following at-bat, but Ott drew his second base on balls of the inning to extend the lead to 5-0 before Wood struck out to end the inning.

After an extended break, Pengelly remained effective in the bottom of the frame to keep the Lobos in the driver’s seat, tossing a fifth consecutive scoreless inning with a pair of groundouts and a routine popup to strand a runner in scoring position after they reached on a single and advanced on a balk.

In the sixth, Dixon drew UNM’s seventh walk in the last two frames and stole second to reach scoring position but didn’t get any further after Carris and Stephens were rung up in succession. 

After a leadoff double cued Pengelly’s departure from the game, Jackson took the mound and kept the run from cashing in despite a hit-by-pitch in his first at-bat, inducing a double play and a grounder to keep the shutout going. He repeated the feat in the seventh after another HBP complicated things, striking out two and ending the inning with a routine grounder.

The Aztecs broke up the shutout in the eighth with an RBI single that brought in a run, threatening further after another base knock pushed a runner to third before Jackson could produce the first out of the frame with his third strikeout. After a sacrifice fly pushed another run across, Jackson ended the inning with his fourth punchout to keep things moving.

The Lobos were retired in order in the ninth and Jackson took the mound for a crucial final frame with a three-run cushion, inducing two flyouts to open before Carris collected a foulout for a game-ending 1-2-3 inning.