“Jackson Weller was one of the classiest kids I’ve ever coached,” Lobo Baseball Head Coach Ray Birmingham said as he held back tears. “This was the first time in 42 years I’ve lost one of the players on my watch.”

Birmingham, Athletics Director Eddie Nuñez and outfielder Brayden Merritt spoke with members of the media about Weller, who was shot and killed outside of a Nob Hill nightclub early Saturday morning. 

During the press conference, Birmingham and Merritt reflected on how Weller came to play for the Lobos and what he meant to the team, despite never throwing a pitch in a series game. 

People who compete in athletics are often creatures of habit — prisoners of preparation and routine, even though it is often by design.

Maybe they take the same amount of practice swings, bounce the basketball a certain number of times before attempting a free throw, or any number of other things that feel like things are in the proper place and resemble what they have prepared for.

"I'm not one for change."

For the first time in their brief existence, New Mexico United stands alone at the top.

The expansion club recorded an emphatic 3-0 win over visiting San Antonio FC (3-5-1) on a gorgeous Cinco de Mayo evening, playing in front of a record 15,023 at Isotopes Park. The result saw New Mexico (4-1-5) claim sole control of first place in the USL Championship's Western Conference with 17 points through 10 matches.

The University of New Mexico baseball may be in last place in the Mountain West, but still have a decent shot at catapulting up the standings with the bottom four teams being separated by just one game in the loss column.

New Mexico suffered a loss, picked up a win and played to a tie against the conference's top team, Fresno State, on the road over the weekend and returned home to start an eight-game home stand.

Although the first two games on the docket were scheduled against Grand Canyon University, a non-conference foe, UNM didn't appear to have an easy task on its hands. GCU entered Tuesday's matchup against the Lobos riding a seven-game winning streak — which included sweeps at home and away — sandwiched around a big win in Arizona.

Women's Basketball: Lobos add two more to 2019 recruiting class

Mike Bradbury wasted no time filling his two newly vacated scholarships, replacing guards Madi Washington and Quincy Noble with graduate transfer Ciani Cryor and freshman Celine Dupont. 

Cryor will wear her third Division I jersey when she suits up for the Lobos in the fall, joining the program after a season at Georgia Tech and the last two at Rutgers. Last year for Rutgers she averaged 8.1 points, 5.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Cryor will provide the Lobos with extra insurance at point guard with Aisia Robertson expected to miss at least the first half of the season recovering from a torn ACL she suffered in the regular season final. 

Nail-biting match ends in draw for United

"If you're a fan, you can't ask for anything more... that's for sure."

New Mexico United head coach Troy Lesesne summarized with admirable clarity his club's 3-3 draw with the Portland Timbers 2 at Isotopes Park on Friday night. A matchup between two teams atop the Western Conference, the fixture was a first-rate experience of the mercurial nature of competitive soccer. The 90 minutes were fraught with wild swings of emotion for the record 12,921 in attendance — confidence, frustration and despair gave way to euphoria as a last-gasp equalizer from United forward Kevaughn Frater rescued a point for the home side.

Baseball: Lobos cover all the bases in Fresno

Those are the options — although a tie is rare — when playing college baseball and the Lobo baseball team and Fresno State played three games over the weekend and got a different result each time.

Fresno State entered the series as the Mountain West leaders, sitting atop the conference standings and occupying one of the top four spots that the Lobos are hoping to climb into before the regular season ends.

The Lobos got on the scoreboard first, but the Bulldogs protected their home field at Bob Bennett Stadium on Friday — breaking through in the bottom of the first for five runs as the Lobos were forced to use three pitchers just to get out of the inning.

Baseball: Texas Tech breaks through stalemate to best Lobos

Texas Tech baseball left Albuquerque with a split against the University of New Mexico baseball team earlier in the month. And with Wednesday's meeting between the two squads getting cancelled, Tuesday night wound up being the final scheduled meeting — carrying the additional bragging rights of winning the head-to-head season series.

No. 15 Texas Tech played host this time around, welcoming the Lobos into its home stadium at Rip Griffin Park by recording the first three outs of the game on just 10 pitches, despite UNM getting a base runner. Red Raider starting pitcher Mason Montgomery retired lead-off man Justin Watari to start the game before hitting Tyler Kelly to put him on. But induced a double-play ball to make it a 1-2-3 top first to get things going.

New Mexico United lose 2-1 on the road to Reno

"All things must pass — none of life's strings can last."

So sang George Harrison on his seminal composition in 1970, and so ended New Mexico United's season-opening undefeated streak at Greater Nevada Field on Saturday night as Reno 1868 FC handed the visitors a 2-1 loss.

United (3-1-4) seemed destined to pick up the road draw after effectively shutting down Reno (3-1-3) for most of the second half, but the fates had other designs. Duke Lacroix sealed the win and crushed the spirits of the New Mexico side with an 89th minute curler from the top of the penalty area, granting the hosts three points by the narrowest of margins.

Men's Basketball: Former top-100 recruit officially named a Lobo

Former ESPN top-100 basketball recruit JJ Caldwell was officially announced as an addition to the University of New Mexico men's basketball team on Friday, according to a release.

The release said Caldwell will join the team as a junior, transferring to UNM after previously playing with the Texas A&M Aggies. He is immediately eligible to play and will begin the final two years of his eligibility at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

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