The University of New Mexico Lobos played host to the University of Nevada Wolf Pack in a doubleheader on Saturday at Santa Ana Star Field.
The 1000 or so fans in attendance were treated to 54 combined hits, 27 combined runs, and a pair of close games that included a walk-off win for the home team in game one of the three-game series.
UNM rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to force extras, only then needing to plate another two runs in the bottom of the tenth to stay alive.
After Cody Dye held the Wolf Pack scoreless in their half of the 11th inning, the Lobos needed just one run to secure the win and walk off with another victory team selfie.
Willie Cano started the 11th off with a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Connor Mang to third base after Mang started the inning on second in accordance with extra-inning rules.
Catcher Jarrett Gonzales came up to the plate with a chance to drive in Mang and give the Lobos their seventh win of the season and their fifth win in Mountain West Conference play.
The 5-10, 195-pound senior from San Antonio, Texas, did not waste the opportunity for walk-off glory, with a single to left field that scored Mang in UNM’s 6-5 win.
Justin Armbruester took the mound in game two for the Lobos and continued his 2021 dominance with 11 strikeouts and three hits allowed over five and one-third innings. His 42 strikeouts over 31 innings pitched entering yesterday’s game placed him 16th in the nation in strikeouts.
Armbruester’s five solid innings gave the Lobos every opportunity to win, but the Wolf Pack offense managed to score seven of their nine runs in the final three frames of the game, including four runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win.
The Lobos would tie the game at seven in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run single by pinch hitter Connor Mang, giving UNM hope that they could replicate their late-inning magic from game one.
Unfortunately for Lobo fans, the Wolf Pack scored two runs in the top of the ninth off of UNM relievers Payton Strambler and Isaiah Campa.
Strambler was tagged for the loss after hitting and walking the only two batters he faced in the inning. Both runners would eventually score.
The two teams face off in the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday at noon. Fans can listen to all of the exciting action on ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM and streaming online on the TEAM App and at www.1017theteam.com.
Image Credit: UNM Lobo Baseball Twitter