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Lobos Win Fourth-Straight Over UNLV in Weekend Opener, 15-8

LAS VEGAS – New Mexico’s bats looked cold as could be before an offensive deluge over the final four frames to take control in its Mountain West series opener with UNLV (24-21, 10-15 MW) Friday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, surging ahead with 16 hits the rest of the way and finishing with three homers to dispatch the Rebels a fourth time this season, 10-4.

The Lobos (24-20, 13-9 MW) are now winners of four straight against UNLV for the first time since 2018 after taking all three games at home in their first meeting March 9-10. They’ll have a chance to go for their first back-to-back weekend series wins over the Rebels since then in tomorrow’s Game Two, set for a 7:05 p.m. MT first pitch.

With the win and Fresno State’s loss tonight, the Lobos are now just one game behind the first-place Bulldogs (27-18, 14-8 MW) and one game ahead of Air Force (20-24, 12-10 MW) in the league standings for the time being. It’s the first time UNM has won four Mountain West games in a row this season.

Both times the Rebels plated multiple runs in the bottom of a frame, the Lobos responded with more in the top of the next inning. After UNLV went up 4-1 at the conclusion of the fifth, UNM scored nine runs on 10 hits combined in the next two innings to change the complexion of the game entirely. When the Rebels finally punched back with three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to cut the deficit in half, the Lobos responded with five more hits for another five-spot in the top of the ninth to put them away for good.

Six different Lobos finished with multiple knocks in a 19-hit outing, the seventh game in a row in which UNM finished in double-digits. UNM won comfortably even though Lobo batters actually struck out 14 times to UNLV’s 4, drawing four walks to the Rebels’ three.

After earning the start at third after a productive late-game at-bat on Tuesday, Akili Carris went 3-for-5 and produced a pair of rally-extending RBI knocks – a single and a double – in back-to-back plate appearances in the sixth and seventh to yield three runs. Jake Holland also went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored, snapping his longest stretch without a big fly this season at seven games with his 14th of the year to crack 50 RBI on the season. 

Along with Holland, Reed Spenrath (2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB) and Tye Wood (3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB) both went yard and finished with two hits each. Spenrath’s was his 10th of the year, with Wood hitting his third of the year – and first since March 3 – and following with an RBI triple in the next plate appearance. Wood’s homer got UNM on the board for the first time after the Rebels retired 12 of the first 14 Lobo batters to start things off.

Not to be outdone, Will Asby added three more hits – including doubles in back-to-back plate appearances – to finish with three runs and three more RBI. He’s now tied with Spenrath for most two-baggers on the team with 16. Konner Kinkade (2 R, 1 RBI) finished with two hits and Sean Stephens (1 R), Chase Weissenborn and Khalil Walker (1 R) all added on each to round things out.

RHP Dayne Pengelly (4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) only gave up one hit and one earned run through his first four frames in the start but was jumped for three more earned runs on five one-out hits in the fifth to cue his early exit. Taking over from there, LHP Arthur Steinkamp (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 K, 0 BB) cleaned things up with a double play ball on his first batter faced and retired six of the next eight he faced to quiet the Rebels’ bats and earn the win, improving to 3-1 on the season. RHP Wil Bannister (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB) took over with a runner on third and one out on the board in the eighth and induced two flyouts to end the frame, allowing one more run on a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth but keeping UNLV’s lineup at bay the rest of the way.

Since an eight-game losing streak dipped UNM below .500 for the first time since February and was finally snapped with a 6-2 win over Fresno State on April 14, the Lobos have won seven of their last 11 and five of their last six. They entered last week tied for fourth in the conference standings and have risen into sole possession of second place and one game back of first.


After a week in which they batted .395 as a team, the Lobos’ bats were slow to get going – UNM’s first seven hitters were retired in order, with four striking out in succession before Weissenborn’s single got a baserunner aboard with one out in the top of the third.

Pengelly retired three of four in a hitless first and induced three consecutive grounders to end the second after allowing two baserunners on a walk and a single, but the Rebels got a runner across on the second for an early 1-0 lead.

After Weissenborn was left on base in the third, Pengelly remained sharp, walking two but compelling two flyouts and a fielder’s choice play that Carris completed to strand them both. He repeated the feat in the next frame after Holland’s one-out base knock was stranded, opening with his second punchout of the night before another flyout and fielder’s choice stranded another UNLV runner on the basepaths.

Leading off the fifth, Wood tied things up with a swing of the bat, slamming his third homer of the season and first since March 3 against Hofstra out of right center to get UNM on the board. But the Rebels finally got to Pengelly in the bottom of the frame, knocking him out of the game with five one-out hits in succession – three singles and two doubles – to go back up 4-1. Steinkamp took over to clean things up, needing only one batter to do so – the lefty generated a ball up the middle that allowed Kinkade, Weissenborn and Spenrath to turn UNM’s 39th double play this season and halt the advance then and there.

But the Lobos responded in kind in the sixth, roughing up UNLV’s xx Cates with six hits to plate five runs and take their first lead at 6-4. A leadoff knock from Kinkade was followed by a wall-banging double from Asby, who battled through a seven-pitch at-bat that saw him foul off three pitches to work the count before smoking the ball to the center field wall to get UNM back on the board. After Holland grounded out, Spenrath came up with another huge hit on a full count, mashing his 10th big fly of the season to tie things up. Smith kept things going with a base knock in the next AB and Wood connected on UNM’s third extra base hit of the inning – and his second of the night – with an RBI three-bagger to right center that gave the Lobos their first lead at 5-4 before Carris tacked on another with a single through the left side that made it 6-4 and cued Cates’ departure from the game. With a new pitcher on the mound, Carris stole scoring position but was left there after strikeouts from Weisenborn and Walker ended the frame.

Steinkamp managed to calm things down in the bottom of the frame and limit UNLV’s response to a two-out double that he stranded there with a groundout in the next at-bat, but UNM kept producing at the plate in the seventh

After Asby doubled for the second time in as many at-bats – this time with a ball smoked down the right field line – Holland slammed his 14th homer of the season and UNM’s third of the night to yield two more runs and push the lead to 8-4. The senior catcher hadn’t gone yard in his last seven outings dating back to April 14 – his longest stretch without homering all season. He’s now up to 50 RBI on the year after finishing with 39 in his first year in a Lobo uniform in 2023.

After Spenrath singled and Wood drew a walk to keep the rally going, Carris followed with another huge hit – this time a double to the wall – to score them both and make it nine straight unanswered Lobo runs.

Dixon pinch hit for Weissenborn after another pitching change and drew another base on balls to bring up Walker, but the junior outfielder grounded out to get UNLV out of the inning.

Steinkamp retired three of four again in the bottom of the frame for another relatively easy three outs, capped off by another grounder to Kinkade to end it. He came back out for the eighth after the Rebels stranded two aboard kept the Lobos from adding to the lead, giving up a pair of one-out pinch-hit singles followed by an RBI triple that cut the lead back down to four. Bannister took over from there, generating a pair of flyouts – the first allowing another run across – to keep UNM ahead by three heading into the final frame.

Replacing Wood in the outfield, Stephens came up with a leadoff single to get the bats going again in the ninth and they never looked back. The Lobos extracted five runs one at a time on five singles, a walk and a costly error in right field to head into the bottom of the final frame with an even bigger lead than they had going into the eighth.

Bannister gave up a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the inning and an UNM’s first error of the night allowed a baserunner aboard at an inopportune time with nobody out, but he didn’t allow another run to cross the rest of the way to close out UNM’s fourth-straight conference win without much more anxiety.

Tomorrow’s Game Two is set for a 7 p.m. MT first pitch, with RHP Brett Russell (6.39 ERA, 4-0, 38.0 IP, 10 BB, 32 K) set to get the start on the bump against UNLV RHP LJ Mercurius (4.01 ERA, 0-1, 24.2 IP, 7 BB, 20 K). Live streaming for all of this weekend’s series will be available via the MW Network at, with live stats at Follow @UNMLoboBaseball on socials for promotional/marketing and gameday updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.