Baseball

Aztecs Doubled Up at New Mexico, 8-4

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Ruby Ruiz

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – San Diego State's Irvin Weems belted two home runs on Friday, but it wasn't enough as host New Mexico pulled away for an 8-4 victory in the opening game of a Mountain West weekend series at Santa Ana Star Field.

Weems' second blast of the evening—a solo shot to right-center—tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the sixth. However, the Lobos (21-19, 10-9 MW) plated four runs in the seventh to take the lead for good.

Along with Weems' performance, which featured a two-run bomb in the second, the Aztecs (11-30, 5-14 MW) received two hits apiece from Jacob McCombs and Shaun Montoya, while Tino Bethancourt knocked in SDSU's other run with a groundout to second in the fifth.

UNM's bullpen combo of Jaren Jackson and Wil Bannister held the Aztecs scoreless for the final three frames, as the Scarlet and Black suffered its seventh straight loss.

After allowing consecutive singles to Montoya and Finley Bates to start the seventh, Jackson (3-5) retired six straight batters en route to the victory, while Bannister pitched an unblemished ninth, tossing just 11 pitches to finish the game.

Lobo starter Dayne Pengelly posted a career-high nine strikeouts in six innings but allowed four runs on six hits and four walks before giving way to Jackson.

Meanwhile, the Aztecs' Jacob Riordan fanned six batters of his own in six innings of work but did not factor in the decision after yielding four runs on seven hits and four walks.

Connor Abadie (0-1), who walked Reed Spenrath, his only batter faced, was tagged with the hard-luck loss.

Following Spenrath's base on balls to begin the seventh, Jadon Bercovich was summoned from the bullpen but promptly hit Kyle Smith with a pitch. Moments later, Tye Wood followed with a single to center, as Spenrath raced home on a bobbled ball by Weems in the outfield, with Smith and Wood both advancing on the error.

After an intentional walk to Josh McAlister, which loaded the bases, Chase Weissenborn drove in Smith and Wood with an RBI single, while McAlister eventually crossed the plate on another base hit up the middle by Konnor Kinkade.

Weissenborn (3-for-4) led all players with three hits and four RBIs, while Wood, Khalil Walker and Will Asby racked up two hits apiece in the win.

San Diego State opened the scoring with two outs in the second, as Weems crushed the first pitch he saw from Pengelly over the fence in left after McCombs led off the frame with a single.

UNM answered with a pair of markers in the bottom of the frame when Wood led off with a triple and scored on McAlister's sacrifice fly, while Weissenborn beat out an infield hit and later raced home from second on Asby's RBI single up the middle.

SDSU squandered a golden opportunity with one out in the fourth after Pengelly walked McCombs, Jake Jackson and Weems to load the bases. However, the Lobo hurler extinguished the threat with a strikeout and a flyout.

UNM then reclaimed the lead in the third when Spenrath and Smith drew consecutive walks to lead off the inning and ultimately scored on Weissenborn's single to left.

The Aztecs responded with a single marker in the fifth when Montoya roped a one-out double and advanced on a wild pitch before crossing the plate on Bethancourt's groundout to second.

Trailing 4-3, SDSU soon tied the score after Weems went yard with one out in the sixth, belting another first-pitch offering to right-center that was measured at 422 feet. The Aztec junior has taken over the team lead with six homers on the year.

UP NEXT
San Diego State continues its series at New Mexico on Saturday, April 27, starting at 2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT.