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Lobos Snap Skid with Sunday Win Over MW-Leading Fresno State

by Connor Gilbert

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Baseball snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over MW-leading Fresno State on Sunday, scoring the final four runs of the game behind impressive outings on the mound from David Lopez and Wil Bannister to hand the Bulldogs (25-10, 14-4 MW) their first conference loss since March 22.

The Lobos (17-17, 8-7 MW) are back in the win column after their longest losing streak of the season brought them below .500 for the first time since the first weekend of the season in February – they remain in third place in the Mountain West standings at the halfway point in league play heading into a crucial road series at second-place Air Force (15-19, 8-6 MW) next weekend. 

UNM has only played three games in which the Lobos come in with a winning percentage below .500 this season — they’re 3-0 in those games.

After using four arms in Friday’s series opener and six in Saturday’s game two, the Lobos only needed two on Sunday to neutralize a Fresno lineup that averaged 20.5 hits and 16.5 runs per nine innings in the first two games of the series. Lopez and Bannister leaned on the UNM infield to hold the Bulldogs to just four hits despite only striking out four in total, with Konner Kinkade, Devon Dixon and Akili Carris all finishing with three assists each and Reed Spenrath putting out 13 at first. Khalil Walker and Will Asby collected six flyouts between them in the outfield — many of which were far from routine — to keep potentially game-changing runs off the board.

Lopez matched a career-high with seven innings on the mound in his seventh start of the season, earning the win to improve to 3-1 in games of record after holding Fresno State to two earned runs on four hits in that span. He retired 12 of his first 14 to keep the Bulldogs off the board over the first four innings, retiring the side in order three times before exiting the game. The junior righty struck out three while only issuing one free pass for his lowest single-game WHIP (0.714) this season.

Bannister was similarly effective in relief, earning his first save of the season with two hitless and scoreless frames to slam the door on the Bulldogs late – he walked two and struck out one, working himself out of a minor jam in the final frame with two Fresno State runners on base and two outs on the board thanks to a flyout that Walker corralled in left field to end the game.

Over two relief appearances on the weekend for a total of 5 ⅓ innings pitched, Bannister only allowed one hit without any runs scored, walking three and striking out two.

Jake Holland hit his 13th homer of the season – and third in the last 24 hours – to put UNM up by one early and Reed Spenrath hit his seventh of the year to lead an eight-hit day for UNM. On the weekend, Holland went 7-for-14 with nine RBI, three home runs and a triple, good for a 1.286 slugging percentage and 1.849 OPS – he is now riding the longest hit streak on the team at six games and leads the Mountain West in home runs (13).

Spenrath finished with a team-high two RBI and Akili Carris was the only player on either team to finish with multiple hits after singling twice and scoring a run. Four other Lobos – Will Asby (1 RBI), Tye Wood (1 HBP), Devon Dixon and Khalil Walker (1 R, 1 BB) picked up a knock each. After a six-game hitless streak, Dixon has now hit safely in three straight, with Asby finishing with five hits this weekend after going hitless in four of his last five prior.

“Huge win for us because we’ve been on a little bit of a losing streak,” said Spenrath. “It might not have looked like it, but the last two games we came together as a family … not as individuals, but as a team.

“This is a big one for us, just to see it in the win column and know we can still do it –  we’re gonna take that with us to Tuesday’s game and at Air Force.”


The Lobos stay home for a midweek matchup with D-II CSU Pueblo on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before continuing Mountain West play next weekend on the road at Air Force April 19-21. Tuesday is Jackie Robinson Day at Santa Ana Star Field, with free stickers and other special promotions to honor one of the sport’s greatest trailblazers.

All four games next week will be broadcast via the MW Network, with live stats available via Follow @UNMLoboBaseball on socials for promotional/marketing and gameday updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.