The 2-2 University of New Mexico Lobos kicked off Mountain West Conference play against the Air Force Falcons on Saturday before 12k fans at University Stadium.
Kickoff was set for 4:30 pm MT.
Unfortunately, the Lobos did not show up for the game until around 6:00 pm, well after the Falcons amassed a 31-0 lead and limited the Lobos to just 46 first half yards. The Falcons scored on their first four drives of the game, taking advantage of two UNM fumbles and two three-and-out drives that resulted in punts.
It was the ugliest loss in the Danny Gonzales era of UNM football and one the team would surely like to forget.
“Obviously, we we’re not very good,” said Lobos coach Danny Gonzales after the game.
“Air Force out-physicalled us, which is really disappointing. We’re not good enough on defense yet to be so bad on offense and not get first downs.”
It was UNM’s first loss in conference play and their third consecutive loss after starting the season with wins over Houston Baptist and New Mexico State.
The Falcons were led by junior running back Brad Roberts, who rushed for 142 yards and a pair of scores on 29 carries. As a team, Air Force rushed for 408 yards and a 5.6 yard per carry average against Rocky Long’s defense.
Terry Wilson led UNM with 179 yards passing and one touchdown, with most of it coming in the second half when the game was well out of reach.
One bright spot for the Lobos was the play of freshman Luke Wysong. The first-year player from Cleveland High in Rio Rancho caught three passes for 70 yards.
Gonzales and the Lobos will look to end their three-game skid next Saturday on the road against a 4-0 San Diego State team that has victories over Utah and Arizona on their resume.
The yearly matchup against in-state rival New Mexico State is the first game Lobos circle on their calendars when schedules are released each season.
It doesn’t matter that UNM holds a commanding 73-33-5 all-time record against NMSU.
It doesn’t matter that the Lobos have won three straight against the Aggies and 43 of the 61 times the teams have faced off against each other in Albuquerque.
What matters is winning the Rio Grande rivalry each year and holding bragging rights over your opponent from the south.
And that is precisely what the Lobos did on a hot Saturday evening in front of 28,470 fans at University Stadium, with a 34-25 victory to move to 2-0 on the season.
Terry Wilson threw for a career-high 381 yards and three touchdowns, Bobby Cole rushed for a game-high 113 yards and a score on 20 carries, and Emmanuel Logan-Green posted a game-high 106 receiving yards and a touchdown to lead UNM.
The Lobos jumped up early on the Aggies with a four-yard Bobby Cole touchdown run with just a minute off the clock in the first quarter. UNM would add another touchdown on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Connor Witthoft to end the first quarter of action with a 14-3 advantage.
The Aggies would finally get their offense going in the second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes, including a 75-yard strike from Dino Maldonado to Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda that cut the UNM lead to just 24-20 at the half.
The Aggies would score just five more points in the game with a safety in the third quarter and a 37-yard field goal from Ethan Albertson with 12.:32 remaining in the game.
The Lobos squandered more than a few scoring opportunities in the second half but finally put the game away when Wilson hit Logan-Green with a 58-yard touchdown pass that sealed the victory for New Mexico.
With the win, the Lobos move to 2-0 on the season and have won four straight games dating back to last year. The Lobos face a tough battle next week as they head to College Station, Texas, to take on the Texas A&M Aggies.
New Mexico State falls to 0-3 with the loss. The Aggies will look for their first win of the year when they host South Carolina State at Aggie Memorial Stadium next Saturday.
An end to an era of Lobo Baseball took place on a sunny Saturday afternoon as hall of fame coach Ray Birmingham coached his final game for the cherry and silver.
Although the season proved to be a disappointment with the Lobos finishing with a 16-24 record, including an 11-10 loss in the final game of the season against visiting San Diego State, not one person in attendance cared as a packed house at Santa Ana Star Field said goodbye to the Cowboy coach one last time.
The Aztecs jumped out early with a two-run triple by first baseman Jacob Cruce in the top of the first inning. SDSU would add a pair of runs in each of the next two frames before breaking the game wide open with a four-run sixth inning to take what would turn out to be an insurmountable 8-4 lead.
As you would expect of a team playing for their beloved skipper one list time, the Lobos did not give up easily and fought to the end.
UNM stormed back with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, capped off by an RBI triple by Harry Fullerton off of reliever Avery Jones.
The Lobos added another run in the bottom of the eighth to make it just a one-run game but could not come through with the needed run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, despite two runners on base in the final frame.
Coach B took the field one last time to thank the fans, his players, the university, and the state of New Mexico before donning a Cowboy hat and mounting a horse for a proper send-off for the Cowboy coach.
No other person did more for the state of New Mexico with regards to furthering the game of baseball and helping hundreds of young men become better baseball players, student-athletes, and members of our community.
Coach Birmingham will undoubtedly be missed, but his legacy will live on forever.
Below is a tribute to Coach B that was played at the conclusion of the game on Saturday.
Harry Fullerton notched three hits and drove in four runs to lead the University of New Mexico Lobos to an 8-4 victory on Sunday and a three-game series sweep over the host San José State Spartans.
The win on Sunday secured a second-consecutive series sweep for the Lobos as the regular season winds down in what will be the final campaign in the storied coaching career for head coach Ray Birmingham.
New Mexico won the first game of the series on 6-2 on Saturday, with Connor Mang and Kyler Castillo each driving in three runs and Nathaniel Garely scattering just five hits over five innings to earn the win.
Game two of the doubleheader turned out to be an offensive barrage for the Lobos in a lopsided 14-2 win. Adam Schneider led the Lobos with three hits in five at-bats, Kyler Castillo scored a team-high three runs, and Fullerton drove in four runs, including a home run in the seventh inning off of Spartan receiver Kyle Bratset.
Fullerton carried over his hot play into the final game of the series on Sunday. His second-inning single to drive in Connor Mang extended UNM’s lead to 2-0. After flying out to right in his next at-bat, Fullerton would come through with a two-run double that proved to be the hit of the game.
The Spartans posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a one-run lead. Instead of allowing Corey Sanchez to post a shutdown inning in the top of the sixth, Fullerton and the Lobos posted their own three-spot to regain the lead.
UNM would add an insurance run in both the eighth and ninth inning, but the Spartans would not score another run on the day.
With the win, the Lobos move to 15-23 on the year, and 9-15 in Mountain West Conference play.
They wrap up the season at home against San Diego State in a double-header on Saturday, May 28th.
Be sure to catch all of the exciting action as the Lobos look to continue winning out in Birmingham’s final home series. Listen live on-air, online at www.1017theteam.com, and on the TEAM app.
The Lobos were scheduled to take on UNLV at home this past weekend in a three-game series that was canceled due to a covid-19 issue with the Rebels.
Instead of playing against a conference foe at home, the Lobos pivoted to a last-minute series on the road against a talented Washington Huskies team.
In addition to the schedule change, UNM players learned earlier in the week that coach Ray Birmingham, the winningest coach in New Mexico baseball history and the manager for the school for the past 14 seasons, will retire following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
All things considered, the Lobos should not have been much of a match for a Washington team that took two of three games against the No.10 ranked UCLA Bruins earlier this month.
Don’t tell that to coach B and the Lobos.
UNM battled the Huskies in all three games of the series, taking Washington to extra innings in two of the three games.
Washington won the opening game of the weekend with a 4-3 victory in ten innings on Friday in Seattle.
New Mexico would respond with their own extra-inning victory on Saturday, highlighted by three consecutive RBI hits by Connor Mang, Mack Chambers, and Kyler Castillo to plate three Lobos in the top of the 12th. Washington would rally with a run in their half of the inning, but it proved to be not enough as the Lobos held on to a 5-3 win.
The Lobos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the rubber match of the series on Sunday, with a run in the top of the third and fourth innings. The Huskies responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game, capped by an RBI single by infielder Will Simpson.
The two teams played three more innings of scoreless baseball before the Huskies won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a walk-off single by Simpson, who drove in two of the three Washington runs on the day.
“These kids battle their butts off and just need a break,” said head coach Ray Birmingham in a quote to GoLobos.com.
“Washington came off of beating UCLA in a series, and we had our chances to take this one. Not an easy week for us as Texas Tech is loaded, and then we get back home for Fresno State. We have to keep fighting.”
With the loss, the Lobos fell to 9-16 on the year. They continue the 2021 season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday before heading home for a four-game series against Fresno State at Santa Ana Star Field.