The UNM baseball team had the opportunity to win a pair of games in doubleheader action at Kansas State, but failed to do so, losing game one 12-10, and game two 3-2, at Tointon Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas on Tuesday.
The two losses for UNM weigh heavy on its overall record, dropping the team to 20-16-1 overall, and marking the team's third straight loss in the past four days.
But despite dropping both games to Kansas State (19-18), the Lobos didn't perform terribly either. In game one, the Lobos combined for 10 hits and 10 runs, and in game two the team combined for eight hits and two runs.
For head coach Ray Birmingham, he realized that the team's schedule isn't an easy road to Omaha, but said he believes his team still has some fight left in them.
"This schedule is hard to go through," Birmingham said in a press release. "It is all at the highest order. The breaks will start going our way, though. We as Lobos will always keep fighting."
In game one, both teams combined for high octane offense, and the contest saw both teams score runs in the double digits.
The Lobos fell behind in the first inning, 1-0, after Kansas State managed to get a run in on a sacrifice fly to center field.
But UNM came firing in the second inning, scoring eight runs to take a commanding 8-1 lead. However, the inning was highlighted by a three-run home run from Carl Stajduhar.
The Wildcats managed to tack on another two runs in the bottom of the frame, but UNM managed to hold a 9-4 lead until the seventh inning, when Kansas State's offense got hot. In innings seven and eight, Kansas State tallied eight runs to take a 12-9 lead over the Lobos.
UNM managed to score one run in the ninth, but it wasn't enough to win the game.
Walks hurt the Lobos in game one, as six of the seven walked Wildcat batters made it to home plate.
Ultimately, the loss was tallied onto Justin Slaten's record, putting him at 2-1 on the season. Slaten, in 1.1 innings on the mound, allowed five Kansas State runs.
Offensively, Jared Mang was the star of the show for the Lobos. Mang paced his team at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI as part of his efforts. Seven other Lobos managed to muster a hit, though Stajduhar provided three RBI's and a run on his 1-for-5 showing.
Unlike the previous game, UNM never managed to grab or sustain a lead.
Kansas State scored its first run in the bottom of the second after the Lobos allowed four straight walks, to put the home team up 1-0.
However, UNM answered with one run of its own in the top of the fourth inning when Hayden Schilling blasted a homer to right field to tie the game up. But again, the Wildcats responded swiftly, tacking on two more runs in the bottom of the frame to take a two run lead, 3-1.
Justin Watari, in the seventh inning, made it to home plate on an RBI single, but it was all the Lobos managed to do for the rest of the game. The Lobos lost game two against Kansas State 3-2.
The loss tallied onto relief pitcher Brandon Langan's record, putting him at 1-2 on the season. Langan allowed five hits and two runs in 2.1 innings on the mound.
Eight different Lobos managed to get a hit in the game, but Watari and Schilling scored the team's only runs. Mang, and Schilling — on his single shot homer — both tallied an RBI in game two.
The Lobos will pick up play again starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m., when the team will host UNLV in a three-game series at Santa Ana Star Field.
Matthew Narvaiz is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women's basketball and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.