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Spring sports: Stajduhar’s slam, Stevens’ arm helps UNM baseball even series with UNLV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Carl Stajduhar hit a go-ahead grand slam and Tyler Stevens pitched eight strong innings to lift the University of New Mexico baseball team to a 6-2 road victory over UNLV on Saturday.

Stajduhar went 3-for-5, but his first hit was pivotal as UNM (32-17, 17-6 Mountain West) evened the three-game series against the Rebels (21-25, 11-12). UNLV led 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Stajduhar blasted his 15th home run of the season to center field. The grand slam was the Lobos’ second hit off UNLV starter Kenny Oakley (4-6) but gave the visitors a 4-1 lead.

It was enough support for Stevens (7-3), who allowed only a solo homer to Nick Ames over his eight innings of work. The right-hander scattered seven hits and struck out six.

Andre Vigil went 2-for-2 for UNM, while Payton Squire was 3-for-4 for the Rebels. The teams play the rubber game of the series today at 2:05 p.m.

⋄  In Las Cruces, Austin Botello went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs for host New Mexico State (26-20, 14-6) in its 8-5 Western Athletic Conference win over Seattle (29-17, 16-4).

The two teams play their rubber game of the set today at noon at Presley Askew Field. Seattle won Friday night 10-9 in 10 innings.

Botello homered in the first inning, giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead. Joseph Koerper’s solo homer in the bottom of the inning pushed NMSU’s lead back to 7-5.

Ruger Rodriguez, Tyler Erwin and Joe Galindo pitched the final 31/3 innings of scoreless relief, with Rodriguez (1-0) getting the victory. Aggie leadoff hitter Daniel Johnson, who had two homers on Friday, continued his torrid streak with three more hits.

⋄  San Diego State head coach Mark Martinez, a former UNM assistant, was issued a one-game suspension following his ejection from Friday night’s game at Fresno State. It was his second ejection within a year, which subjected him to the suspension per Mountain West Conference rules. He was to sit out Saturday’s game at Fresno State.

GOLF: New Mexico shot its best round of the tournament at 305, but it wasn’t enough to budge the Lobo women from 16th place as the three-round Baton Rouge (La.) Regional wrapped up. Leading the Lobos in their final event of the season was junior Manon Mollé, 30th individually with a 7-over 223 (77-71-75). Darian Zachek finished tied for 51st place at 229 and shot her team’s best third round at 73. Ingrid Gutierrez finished 77th place at 236 (plus-20), Eva Saulnier 85th (241) and Alexandra Moisand 87th (242).

Florida won at 857.

⋄  The New Mexico State women improved one spot in the final round and finished ninth among 18 teams at the NCAA Shoal Creek (Ala.) Regional.

NMSU posted a final round 310, the best final round of those teams not making the top six and qualifying for nationals, and finished with a 931 for the tournament. No. 8 Northwestern finished at 887 and won by 18 strokes.

“We turned a lot of heads and finished six spots better than our incoming seed,” said NMSU coach Jackie Booth.

Viviana Macias finished as the top Aggie at 15-over 231 after Saturday’s 77. Teammate Kennedie Montoya, WAC champion, had a team-best 76 of third-round and finished at 19-over 235. Senior Kacey Dalpes of Alamogordo shot 77 in her final event for NMSU.

SOFTBALL: Host New Mexico squandered a solid pitching performance by Colette Robert and fell 2-1 to San Diego State in Mountain West play.

Today’s noon game at Lobo Softball Field is Senior Day for UNM (22-24, 7-12). San Diego State (27-20, 10-10), which won 23-4 in five innings on Friday night, goes for the sweep.

Robert (8-8) went the distance, allowing two runs off just four hits to a team that stroked 28 hits in five innings the previous night.

“We were one clutch hit away from winning (Saturday), but I am really proud of their toughness and how they recovered from yesterday,” said UNM coach Erica Beach.

UNM scored first, an RBI double by Jasmine Casados driving in Mariah Rimmer in the first inning. Rimmer and Casados both went 2-for-3. Alexa Formby allowed six hits in seven innings for SDSU.

UNM’s “Lobos Love Pink” game raised more than $600 to help the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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