FRESNO, Calif. — The first-place New Mexico baseball team gave up nine unasnwered runs to host Fresno State and fell 9-3 on Friday to open a Mountain West Conference baseball series at Pete Beiden Field.
Despite the loss, UNM’s magic number to clinch the regular season title and host berth for the league tournament fell to three with Air Force defeating second-place San Diego State on Friday.
The Lobos (28-21-1, 18-5-1) led 3-0 on Jared Mang’s bases-loaded double in the second inning, but it was all Fresno State (27-22, 14-11) from that point.
“They just outpitched us tonight,” UNM coach Ray Birmingham said. “We will have to get back after it Saturday.”
Fred Schlichtholz pitched four scoreless innings in relief of Ricky Tyler Thomas (6-3). Tyler Stevens (6-5), tagged for eight runs in five innings for UNM.
Game two of the series is 7:05 p.m. tonight with UNM’s Johnathon Tripp (5-1, 4.90 ERA) matched up against Edgar Gonzalez (4-3, 4.94 ERA) will go for the Bulldogs.
In Chicago, Kyle Bradish threw a complete-game five-hitter as New Mexico State (31-19, 15-4 Western Athletic Conference) romped 12-1 over Chicago State (11-36, 7-12) in a mercy rule-shortened seven-inning game.
Brent Sakurai doubled, tripled, and stole two bases in a 4-for-5 effort from the leadoff spot for the Aggies. Bradish (8-1) walked two and struck out 10.
The two teams resume the series today at 2 p.m.
TRACK AND FIELD: New Mexico stands fifth among seven men’s teams and ninth among 11 women’s teams after Saturday’s session of the Mountain West Conference championships on Logan, Utah.
For the Lobo men on Friday, Graham Thomas finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:14.44). Sam Trigg took fourth and Tanner Battikha seventh in the long jump.
For the women, Amaris Blunt became the first Lobo to score in the hammer throw in the league meet in a decade by taking sixth at 183 feet, 10 inches). Natasha Bernal ran fifth in the steeplechase, Jannell Hadnot eighth in the long jump.
Through day three, Colorado State leads the women’s standings with 56 points. San Diego State is second with 40.5 points, while Nevada ranks third with 38.5 points.
San Jose State (fourth, 25 points), Fresno State (fifth, 24 points), Boise State (sixth, 22), Air Force (seventh, 20), Wyoming (eighth, 17), New Mexico (ninth, 13), UNLV (10th, 12) and Utah State (11th, five) round out the teams competing.
Colorado State also has the lead in the men’s team standings with 88.5 points, ahead of Air Force (66.5 points). Utah State (29), Wyoming (28.5), New Mexico (28), Boise State (20) and Fresno State (11.5) rank third through seventh.
The meet’s final session is today.
SOFTBALL: In Las Cruces, top-seeded host New Mexico State won an elimination game late Friday in the WAC tournament, and the Aggies will need two more wins today for the championship.
The Aggies (27-23) blasted UMKC 15-3 after losing 6-4 to Seattle (20-30) in a winners’ bracket game. The two teams play at 1 p.m. and an “if” game would be played immediately thereafter.
At Lobo Softball Field on Senior Day, host New Mexico continued its free fall with a 5-0 loss to Boise State (29-18, 6-17). UNM (20-29, 11-12) managed only three hits and has dropped 10 straight, 14 of its last 15. Paige Reimann (6-5) earned the win with six innings of work, and Kelsey Broadus pitched a perfect seventh inning for the Broncos.
UNM honored seniors Shelbie Franc, Jasmine Casados, Michala Erickson and Tess McPherson on Friday.
The two teams wrap up the series and the regular season today at 10 a.m.
VOLLEYBALL: Carly Beddingfield, who posted a 7-9 record for UNM in the recently concluded beach season, has been selected to compete with the 2017 Mountain West All-Star indoor team July 10-15 in Pula, Croatia against junior national and club teams from throughout Europe.