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Lobos Down CSU-Pueblo in Midweek Action at Home, 3-1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico Baseball opened up a pivotal week with a 3-1 win over D-II CSU-Pueblo at Santa Ana Star Field in non conference midweek action on Tuesday, with six pitchers holding the Thunderwolves (23-18) to one unearned run on three hits and Kyle Smith driving in two runs with a pair of sacrifice knocks to lead an eight-hit outing for UNM.

The Lobos (18-17, 8-7 MW) are now winners of two in a row and back above .500 after snapping an eight-game skid with a win against first-place Fresno State on Sunday – they’ll head to Colorado Springs this weekend for a three-game set at second-place Air Force.

Senior catcher Kyle Smith postgame after driving in two of UNM's three runs in their second straight win to get back above .500.

RHP Josh Barnhouse earned the win on a bullpen day with four scoreless frames of work, inducing four flyouts and five grounders and striking out three with zero walks to hold Pueblo to just two hits in that span. A quintet of UNM’s most called-upon relievers pitched an inning each the rest of the way – LHP Justin Still (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K), LHP Arthur Steinkamp (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K), RHP Brian McBroom (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K), LHP Jaren Jackson (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) and RHP Wil Bannister (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K) – with the latter three holding the Pack scoreless and hitless over the final three frames to make a narrow lead feel much more secure. Bannister earned his second save of the season for his efforts in the final frame.

Will Asby (1 HBP) went 2-for-3 and leadoff man Konner Kinkade (1 H, 2 R, 1 BB) scored the first two runs of the game after getting aboard in his first two at-bats. Reed Spenrath, Devon Dixon and Khalil Walker all added a double each.

Smith didn’t get the RBI the first time around after giving Kinkade time to get across with a zero-out double play ball in the bottom of the first, but he did on the second try, belting a sacrifice fly to plate Kinkade from third a second time in as many at-bats. He added another in the seventh, getting Walker – who doubled to lead off the seventh – across to put UNM back up two.

“It might not have been the prettiest win, but it feels good to get back on track,” Smith said. “Two in a row going into a weekend like this is what we needed.”

The Lobos didn’t get any more insurance runs, but didn’t need them. Jackson struck out two in a scoreless eighth and Bannister – who worked 5 ⅓ scoreless frames of relief across two appearances last weekend against Fresno State – walked one but held the T-Wolves hitless in the top of the ninth to earn his second save in a row after getting his first of the season on Sunday.

Friday’s series opener at Air Force (15-20, 8-6 MW) is set for a 3 p.m. MT start, with Saturday’s Game Two at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s finale at Noon. All three games will be streamed 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.