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Lobos Clinch Weekend Series over SDSU with 19-5 win in Game Two

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico clinched a series win over San Diego State in runaway fashion in Saturday’s Game Two at Santa Ana Star Field, piling on 12 runs over the seventh and eighth innings but controlling the whole way after a four-run first and seven shutout frames on the mound from RHP Brett Russell.

With the win, the Lobos (22-19, 11-9 MW) took their first weekend series from the Aztecs (11-31, 5-15 MW) since 2019 and the first at home since 2016. They nearly completed their first shutout win of the season, but SDSU plated five runs on four walks, a single, a HBP and an error in the top of the ninth – all with two outs on the board – to break it up. UNM improves to 3-2 against the Aztecs on the season after they dropped two of three against them on the road March 28-29, and has now won six of its last eight since snapping an eight-game losing streak with a win over Fresno State at home on April 14.

The Lobos will go for their first three-game weekend sweep of the Aztecs since 2013 in tomorrow’s series finale, set for a 12 p.m. MT first pitch.


For the second game in a row, UNM got another great performance on the bump from their starter. RHP Brett Russell retired his first nine batters faced and only allowed four runners on base over seven shutout frames to improve to 4-0 on the season, never allowing more than one runner aboard in a single inning. He finished with seven strikeouts in that span, walking one while only being tagged for three hits in total — all on just 92 pitches (60 strikes). LHP Arthur Steinkamp (1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K) and RHP Andrew Neil (1.0 IP, 5 R/2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) both allowed one hit each in the final two frames, with Neil retiring his first two batters faced to get the Aztecs down to their final out in the ninth before they jumped him for five runs.

11 different Lobos finished with a hit and nine finished with an RBI in UNM’s 16-knock outing – the fifth-straight game the Lobos have finished in double-digits – with Will Asby (1 R, 1 RBI) going 3-for-5 to lead the way. Reed Spenrath (2 R, 2 RBI), Kyle Smith (3 R) and Khalil Walker (2 R, 1 RBI) all added two more knocks each and Gene Trujillo (3 RBI) and Josh McAlister (2 RBI) both went yard for the fourth time this season to bring UNM to 52 total home runs. Ethan Ott (1 H, 1 R), Akili Carris (1 BB, 1 R), Devon Dixon (1 BB, 1 R) and Sean Stephens (1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI) all got aboard in pinch-hit at-bats late as UNM extended its lead to 19-0 heading into the ninth. 

After Russell struck out two in a 1-2-3 opening frame to set the tone, the Lobos jumped Aztecs starter Omar Serrano for four early runs, with four of the top five in UNM’s batting order coming up with singles — with Spenrath pushing across the first run with his — to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch, a flyout and a costly two-out error extended the early lead to 4-0 before SDSU could get the final out.

Another easy 1-2-3 frame for Russell on even fewer pitches than the first (8 TP/1 B), the Lobos got two aboard again thanks to a leadoff walk from Walker and a base knock from Asby — the only Lobo at the top of the order who didn’t get aboard in the first — but were kept off the board by a flyout from Holland that didn’t allow either to advance and a strikeout from Spenrath. With Russell still moving quickly as he reached nine consecutive retired (4 by strikeout) through three, the Lobos added to the lead in each of the next three frames to solidify their control with some efficient small ball.

A leadoff single from Kyle Smith in the third was followed by a gutsty two-out walk from Weissenborn that saw him work his way back from down 1-2 in the count early and foul off three in a row in a nine-pitch at-bat that Walker followed with his third double in as many games to plate run No. 5.

After a double play ball erased SDSU’s first hit of the day to keep Russell at just the minimum batters faced through four, Asby produced his second triple of the year with a deep ball to right that was lost in the sun to set the stage from Holland, who got his 47th RBI of the year with a sac fly to get him across and extend the lead to 6-0. After yet another scoreless frame from Russell in the fifth, McAlister turned it into a 7-0 lead with a swing of the bat, blasting his fourth homer of the season more than 440 feet out of Santa Ana Star Field to make it three straight with a run on the board for UNM.

After the Lobos were retired in order for the first time all day in the sixth, things got out of hand in the next two frames as UNM put up two crooked numbers to balloon the lead to 19-0.

12 out of the first 13 UNM batters in the seventh got aboard successfully as the Lobos drew seven of their 10 total walks — three with two outs on the board — and churned out seven runs to put the Aztecs on the ropes. Asby and Spenrath both connected on base knocks to drive in a run each, with all of the other runs being scored without hits, with one wild pitch, an RBI fielder’s choice from Holland and three bases-loaded walks.

Taking over from Russell on the mound, Steinkamp retired three of four with a pair of grounders and a flyout to keep things calm in a pivotal eighth and the Lobos added five more runs in the bottom of the inning — mostly with pinch-hitters and late-game subs. In their first at-bats of the game, Akili Carris drew a walk to push Walker to second and Sean Stephens doubled to score them both. Ethan Ott made it three substitute hitters safely on base in a row with a right-side single that got Stephens to third to set up Gene Trujillo’s massive three-run blast.

RHP Andrew Neil continued to show progress as he took the mound for the final inning, inducing a flyout in his first AB and getting SDSU’s Logan Pontecorvo swinging in the second before intensifying rain made things challenging. Neil walked the next two before a temporary rain delay and struggled to get out of the jam when play resumed, allowing two earned runs on an RBI single and a bases-loaded HBP before an error from Munguia behind the plate surrendered three more unearned but striking out the same batter he faced at the beginning of the frame — No. 34 Sammy Kahler — to end things with the Lobos still comfortably ahead.

The Lobos will go for their first three-game weekend sweep of the Aztecs since 2013 in tomorrow’s series finale, set for a 12 p.m. MT first pitch.  RHP Xavier Cardenas III (1-5, 7.35 ERA, 45.1 IP, 36 K, 41 BB) is set to start on the mound for the Aztecs against to to-be-determined UNM pitcher.

All of this weekend’s action 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.