Starting pitcher Josh Walker recorded his 23rd career win with New Mexico’s 5-3 victory over Air Force on Sunday at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.
Walker (4-1) pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs off nine hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Victor Sanchez earned the save, his second this season, with only one hit surrendered in 1 1/3 innings of work.
UNM scored two runs in each of the first and fourth innings, adding an insurance run in the ninth. The Lobos received multiple-base hits from Sam Haggerty (2-for-5, one run, one RBI), Alex Real (2-for-5, two runs, two RBIs), Andre Vigil (2-for-3, two RBIs) and Aaron Siple (2-for-4).
The Lobos won the series after the teams split the first two games. UNM won Game 1 on Friday 13-8, but Air Force took Game 2 on Saturday 5-0.
UNM freshman Aku Nikander won the 50K Classical Mass Start at the U.S. National Championships and Supertour Finals in Anchorage, Alaska.
Nikander crossed the finish line in 2:23:08.3 to beat American Olympian Noah Hoffman by nine seconds.
“I just double-poled faster than him,” Nikander told a reporter for fasterskier.com. “I was actually leading a lot in the last lap. I had maybe better kick and better glide.”
UNM’s Mats Resaland and Eva Severrus also competed at the meet. Mats placed 12th in the men’s 50K while NCAA champion Severrus took 14th in the 30K. Severrus was the second collegiate athlete to cross the line in that race.
The Lobos fell to 1-5 in Mountain West play following a three-game series sweep at Nevada this past weekend.
The Wolf Pack capped the series Sunday with a 3-1 victory, having defeated UNM in two games Friday with scores of 13-5 and 8-0, respectively.
On Sunday UNM (10-23 overall) had runners in scoring position in five separate innings, but infielder Chelsea Anaya scored the team’s only run in the seventh off a Mariah Rimmer RBI.
Lisa Rodrigues took the pitching loss in the third game, surrendering three earned runs off as single hit. She allowed six walks and struck out two. The Lobos had four hits against Nevada, and Michala Erickson went 2-for-3 at the plate. Tellez and Rimmer had the remaining hits.
UNM failed to score a goal in their first spring exhibition match Sunday, falling to Colorado Rapids’ Reserves team 2-0 in Commerce City, Colo.
The teams played scoreless through the first hour before the Rapids’ Gabriel Torres scored at the 61-minute mark. Kamani Hill added a second goal seven minutes later off a free kick.
The Lobos will continue their spring schedule with an 11 a.m. Saturday exhibition against Denver University in Taos.
Track and Field
Junior transfer Peter Callahan won the 800-meter race in his UNM debut Saturday at the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. One of only two Lobos athletes at the meet, Callahan clocked a time of 1:50.43 to beat a field of 15 other runners.
Lobo senior JP Cordova finished the 800 in fifth place with a time of 1:51.91.
Meanwhile, four UNM jumpers and a decathlete also competed at the 87th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.
Kendall Spencer took sixth in the men’s long jump A Section with a 24-foot, 2 1/2-inch leap, while Aasha Marler placed 10th in the women’s long jump A Section with a personal-best 19-4 1/4 jump. Yannick Roggatz was ninth in the men’s long jump B Section (23-2 1/2), and Jannell Hadnot took 12th in the women’s triple jump A Section (40-2).
Richard York did not finish the decathlon in Texas but recorded career bests in two events: 41-11 1/2 in the shot put and 131-6 in the discus throw.
Most of UNM’s athletes will make their 2014 outdoor season debuts this coming weekend at either the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, Calif., or the Texas Tech Open in Lubbock, Texas.