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Late Lobo run sandbags Aztecs

UNM wins two out of three against San Diego State

The UNM baseball team exploded for six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat San Diego State University 9-3 Sunday at the Albuquerque Sports Stadium.

Catcher Chris Alexander got the scoring started for UNM (14-21 overall, 4-5 in the Mountain West Conference) with a deep solo home run over the left field fence in the third inning.

The Aztecs (16-11, 5-4 Mountain West) tied the score in the top half of the 4th on Darrell Bowles' sacrifice fly, which brought in Carlo Cota, who led off the inning with a triple to right field.

The Lobos came right back with two runs in the bottom of the 4th on an RBI double by first baseman Anthony Lovato and a wild pitch that allowed Lovato to score from third. UNM held on to its two-run lead with strong defense and good pitching by starter Greg Atencio, who had six strikeouts in six innings.

The Lobos blew a chance to add to their lead in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs, but they were unable to put any runs on the board.

The Aztecs seemed inspired by their defensive stand, and tied the game in the seventh on a two-run single by Pilar Amaya. The game stayed tied until the Lobos erupted in the eighth.

Centerfielder Mark Okano, who was 4-for-5 on the day, started things off with a double to right field. Lovato followed with a line-drive double that scored Okano. Aaron Stanley then singled, and Lovato came home on another wild pitch.

Royce Ring replaced Ben Julianel on the mound for SDSU, but that did not help end the Lobo rally, as Troy Cairns and Donny Sevieri added RBI singles.

James Vermilyea (3-0) got his third victory of the season by pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth inning for the Lobos.

UNM took two of three games from the Aztecs this weekend, bouncing back from an 8-5 loss on Friday with two straight wins, including a 5-4 victory Saturday.

The Lobos' next action is at Air Force Academy next weekend when they'll take on the Falcons for a three-game series.

Lee Cornell contributed to this report.

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