Jack Zoellner continued his torrid pace at the plate and eight pitchers combined to allow two earned runs on 12 hits, as the Lobos defeated the Aggies 8-3 on Tuesday night in El Paso.
Zoellner started the game with three hits and a walk in his first four at-bats to extend his consecutive hit streak to nine. He would eventually ground out in the eighth inning, ending a string of 12 consecutive at bats in which he reached base.
“Jack is really knocking the cover off of it right now,” UNM coach Ray Birmingham said in a quote to GoLobos.com “On that at-bat with the home run, he was fighting off pitches on the other side of the plate before he got that last pitch to hit out of the park. He’s really doing a great job at the plate.”
Sophomore southpaw Austin Isenhart pitched two scoreless innings in the start to earn the win, with Birmingham using seven other pitchers against an Aggies team that entered the game with the highest team batting average in the nation (.366).
“We did some good things tonight, and the pitching staff did a great job,” Birmingham said. “We still have things to work on. We left runners on third with less than two outs a few times. Those are things we have to clean up.”
Catcher Robby Campillo and right fielder Andre Vigil each added two hits in the game, including a RBI double by a Vigil in the top of the second inning break a scoreless tie.
The Aggies were led offensively by catcher Mason Fishback and third baseman Joey Ortiz, who both managed three hits against UNM’s stifling collection of relievers. Dalton Shalberg gave up three earned runs and four hits over two and a third innings to earn the loss.
With the win, the Lobos move to 8-3 on the young season. They continue Mountain West Conference play this weekend with a three-game home series against San Jose State at Santa Ana Star Field.