Drought over: UNM baseball routs San Diego State to clinch series win

Apr. 27—It wasn't quite the ending the UNM baseball team had in mind, but it was rather fitting.

The Lobos rolled to a 19-5 victory over San Diego State at Santa Ana Star Field on Saturday, securing their first series win over the Aztecs since 2019. UNM (21-19, 11-9 Mountain West) has been tormented by SDSU in recent seasons and had lost 16 of 18 in the series prior to an 8-4 win Friday night.

It was New Mexico's turn to dominate Saturday. The Lobos got seven superb shutout innings from starter Brett Russell (4-0) and racked up 16 hits including home runs from Josh McAlister and Gene Trujillo.

SDSU (11-30, 5-14) suffered its eighth straight loss and was one out away from being shut out when a light drizzle suddenly turned into a downpour. UNM reliever Andrew Neil issued back-to-back walks with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the ninth, and the umpires signaled a rain delay.

The Aztecs scored five runs on just one hit when play resumed — two more walks, a hit batsman and an error contributing to the sloppy finish.

But neither the rain nor SDSU's late runs could dampen the Lobos' drought-busting win. UNM came into the season lugging an 11-game losing streak to the Aztecs and had dropped six consecutive weekend series to them dating back to 2019.

Saturday's win moved UNM into third place in the Mountain West standings with 10 league games remaining. The top four finishers advance to the Mountain West tournament May 23-26 in San Diego.

New Mexico took charge early, getting four runs on four singles and a pair of SDSU throwing errors in the first. The Lobos added single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings — the latter on McAlister's solo home run to left-center — to make it 7-0.

That was more than enough for Russell, who allowed just three hits in his seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. Trujillo later added a three-run blast as the Lobos blew things open with seven runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth.

Will Asby finished with three hits to pace UNM, which hosts the series finale Sunday at noon.