SANTA ANA STAR FIELD — The University of New Mexico’s baseball team captured three walk-off victories this weekend against Hofstra, which also gave them a sweep of the weekend’s games.
The first game happened on Friday, March 6 and saw the Lobos win 12-11.
UNM scored the first run of the game, which came on a single by Shane Podsednik and put the Lobos up 1-0. Hofstra, however, plated four runs in the top of the third, which gave them the lead.
In the bottom half of the third inning, the Lobos scored two more runs on RBI’s by Kyle Landers and Justin Watari, but the lead returned to three for Hofstra, as the produced two runs in the top of the fourth inning.
The Lobos responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, as Kemuel Thomas-Rivera, Russell and Landers all had RBI’s, and gave the Lobo’s a 7-6 lead.
The top of the sixth inning saw Hofstra retake the lead 8-7, but UNM responded again and took a 9-8 lead in the bottom half of the inning on a 2-RBI single by Kyler Castillo.
UNM added another run in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Ediberto Reyes homered to right and extended the Lobo lead to 10-8.
This lead did not last, however, and Hofstra took the lead in the top of the ninth inning, which was aided by a UNM error, by scoring three runs, putting them up 11-10.
This set the stage for the Pride to take down the Lobos, but UNM rebounded and started their comeback.
This set up Landers to be the hero of the night for UNM, as he hit a double to right-center field, which plated both Barker and Watari and gave the Lobos a 12-11 victory.
Overall, the game saw 23 total runs and 30 total hits, 17 of them coming from Lobo bats. This ended up being a theme of the series for both squads, lots of offense and walk-off wins for
Game two saw UNM once again fall into an early deficit as the Pride had a 3-0 lead entering the bottom of the third inning. But a two-run inning, along with a three-run fourth inning, gave the Lobos the lead at 5-3.
Hofstra battled back and recaptured the lead by scoring four runs over the next three innings, giving them the advantage at 7-5. UNM cut into the deficit by plating a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Hofstra scored two more runs in the top of the eighth inning, which gave them a 9-6 lead.
The Lobo offense started to roll in the bottom of the eighth inning, as they plated five runs and once again had the lead at 11-9. However, the resilient Pride retook the lead after plating four runs in the top of the ninth inning, which gave them a 13-11 lead.
Once again, the Lobos went to work and erased the Hofstra lead by scoring two runs on a bases-loaded walk by Adam Schneider and on a wild pitch by then Pride pitcher Lucas Hall.
After a walk to Watari to once again load the bases, Landers was once again the hero the Lobos needed, as he walked with the bases loaded to give UNM the literal version of the “walk” off.
The nightcap began the same way that the afternoon game started, as UNM was once again in a 3-0 hole, but the Lobos ate into the lead on an RBI single by Castillo, which made the deficit 3-1.
The Lobo offense exploded over the next two innings as they plated four runs in both the bottom of the fourth inning and fifth inning, giving UNM a comfortable 9-3 lead.
UNM added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, as Castillo had another RBI which made the lead 10-3. This run turned out to be necessary for the Lobos as Hofstra struck for seven runs on seven hits in the top of the ninth inning, tying the score at 10-10.
The first two Lobo hitter was retired in the bottom half of the ninth, but Podsednik worked a full count and singled to right field, giving UNM the winning run on base.
Barker was once again called upon to pitch-run for Podsednik and was able to steal second to put the winning run in scoring position for UNM. Thomas-Rivera was the hero this time, as he hit a sinking line drive to left-center field that found turf and allowed Barker to score from second, giving UNM an 11-10 victory.
The Lobos (12-4) will now go on a week-long tour of Texas, as they will play a midweek series against Incarnate Word and then a weekend series against the University of Texas. The series against Incarnate Word will take place on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11. Both games will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Spencer Butler is a sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @SpencerButler48.