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Lobos Downed in MW Tournament Opener, 8-5

by Connor Gilbert

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – No. 2-seed New Mexico hit three homers and held No. 3-seed San Jose State to just one hit over the final three frames in its first Mountain West Tournament game since 2017, but six runs from the Spartans (23-31) in the first four innings was too much to overcome for the Lobos as they fell 8-5 to move into the losers’ bracket on Thursday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The Lobos (28-25) will face the loser of tonight’s matchup between No. 1 seed Air Force and No. 4 seed Fresno State tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. MT. The loser of tomorrow’s game is eliminated from the tournament.

Konner Kinkade hit a three-run homer for his first big fly of the year in the bottom of the second and Jake Holland followed with his 17th bomb of the season to lead off the next inning, but the Lobos were kept off the board for five consecutive innings until Josh McAlister connected on a first-pitch solo homer as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth. Holland (1 R, 1 RBI) and Khalil Walker (1 R) both finished with two hits each to lead an eight-hit outing for the Lobos.

RHP Dayne Pengelly was tagged for the loss to drop to 4-5 after surrendering five earned runs on seven hits and a walk over two innings on the mound – in his stead, LHP Arthur Steinkamp (3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) and LHP Jaren Jackson (4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 K) tightened things up in relief even as the Lobos’ bats sputtered. SJSU produced 15 hits in total to bat .366 on the day, with nine of those hits coming in the first three innings.


Tomorrow’s elimination game is set for a 2:30 p.m. MT first pitch, with RHP Brett Russell set to get the start on the mound for the Lobos.