ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. –The UNM baseball team was on the wrong end of another tight game with the UNLV Rebels Saturday afternoon as the Lobos (8-6-1, 0-2) lost 3-2.
After rallying to tie the game in the seventh, the Lobos saw UNLV (10-3, 5-0) score an unearned run in the top of the eighth to retake the lead. UNM managed to get runners on the corners in the ninth, but freshman Jack Zoellner struck out to end the game.
Colton Thomson (1-2) started on the mound for UNM and suffered the loss. He pitched a career-high 7.0 innings, but his last batter proved costly. He gave up a single to the only batter he faced in the eighth, and that runner eventually came around to score on a two-out error later in the frame.
UNM opened the scoring in the second off UNLV start John Richy (3-0) and it all came with two outs. Aaron Siple got the rally started with a single up the middle. Jared Holley then slashed a single through the right side to move Siple to second. Leadoff man Sam Haggerty then laced a single to left center to score Siple and give the Lobos a 1-0 lead.
It turned out to be short lived, however. The Rebels struck for two in the top of the third on a double sandwiched between two singles.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh. Siple once again got the rally started, this time with a six-pitch walk. He advanced to second on a groundout by Holley and to third on a ground out by Haggerty. Freshman Danny Collier out of Sandi HS then poked an 0-2 pitch through the left side to score Siple and tie the game.
That led to the eighth. With two outs and a runner on third Morgan Stotts hit a hard grounder right to Holley at short. It looked like an inning-ending groundout but Holley couldn’t make the play and the Rebels took the lead.
UNM then put two men on base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but the Lobos couldn’t scratch across a run and dropped their third straight game.
Thomson struck out three and did not walk a batter while throwing 70 of his 106 pitches for strikes. Victor Sanchez tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts, and Jake Cole walked two but struck out a man with the bases loaded in the ninth.
Collier and Chase Harris each recorded two hits for the Lobos.
The series finale is at 1 p.m. Sunday at Lobo Field. Senior Josh Walker will look for his third straight win, and the 22nd of his career, as he tries to right the ship for UNM. The game will be streamed live at GoLobos.com and will be broadcast by ESPN Radio 101.7 The TEAM.
Notes: Zoellner doubled as a pinch hitter in the sixth, his second double of the year … Collier also stole a base, his second … UNLV left 10 men on base and UNM left 11 … attendance was 715.