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Lobos' Season Ends in San Diego

by Connor Gilbert

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – No. 2-seed New Mexico couldn’t get hot in its Mountain West Tournament elimination game matchup with No. 4-seed Fresno State on Friday, holding the Bulldogs (30-27, 19-14 MW) to just two runs on two hits over the final six frames but only getting one across in that span to fall 6-1 and end their season.

The Lobos (28-26, 17-13 MW) conclude the season with the most wins since 2017 to make their first MW Tournament appearance since then, outperforming expectations and improving their winning percentage both in and out of conference for a third straight year. They finished sixth (10-20 MW) in Brown’s first season as head coach in 2022 and narrowly missed out on the conference tournament with a fifth-place finish (13-17 MW) in 2023. They entered the season tied for fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll and finished it in sole possession of second place and a game back of the regular season champs.

UNM held Fresno to just six hits in total – four of them in the first two frames – but RHP Brett Russell was tagged for the loss after surrendering five earned on five hits and two walks over seven innings of work, striking out five. LHP Daxton Purser tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth with one strikeout and RHP Wil Bannister (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) closed things out.

Meanwhile, the Lobos finished with just four hits, with Will Asby, Tye Wood, Josh McAlister and Khalil Walker all finishing with one knock each. Walker scored UNM’s lone run of the game on a fielder’s choice knock from Spenrath that brought him up to 51 runs driven in on the season and 116 in his two seasons at UNM in his final game as a Lobo.