The New Mexico baseball team experienced a near total system failure Saturday afternoon.
The Lobos did not pitch well, hit well or play good defense, and it all added up to a rough 8-5 loss to visiting San Jose State.
"We played down to their level today," said senior right fielder Chase Harris, who went 3-for-5 with two RBI. "That's how it goes. We warned each other about it. We told each other we needed to bring it early and bury them, but we didn't do that."
Harris was one of the few bright spots for UNM (15-8-1, 5-3 Mountain West), which saw its six-game winning streak go up in smoke.
"It's just frustrating because we come in so hot, we take care of Kansas, who is No. 18," Harris said. "They have a decent ballclub, they battle and everything, but we know how good of a team we are. We played down to them in every aspect whether it's hitting or pitching."
Nothing went right for the Lobos, starting with pitcher Colton Thomson (2-3), who allowed seven runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings. Thomson simply could not keep his pitches down in the zone and the Spartans (7-17, 4-7) jumped all over him.
"You throw right down the middle chest-high you're going to get hit," UNM coach Ray Birmingham said. "That's a .235-hitting baseball team that's been crushing the ball all game.
"He wasn't prepared to pitch."
Alec De Watteville, who finished the game 3-for-5, smacked a solo home run with one out in the second inning, starting San Jose State's initial surge.
Matt Lopez and Jack Veasey then reached on a back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Kalei Contrades singled to center field, driving in both runs and making it 3-0.
A bunt RBI single by Lopez in the third made it 4-0.
UNM finally responded with one run in the fourth and then three in the fifth, highlighted by Harris' two-run single that tied the game at 4-4.
The Lobos might have done more damage, but Alex Real grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
The Spartans answered back with three runs in the sixth, including an RBI double by Contrades and RBI singles by Kyle Gallegos and Jacob Valdez. That conspired to chase Thomson from the game.
An error by reliever Jake Cole led to an insurance run for San Jose State in the seventh. UNM got a run back on Danny Collier's RBI double in the bottom of the frame, but two men were ultimately left stranded on base as Real grounded out to shortstop De Watteville to end the inning.
The Lobos loaded the bases on two singles and a walk in the eighth, but Sam Haggerty popped up on the first pitch to end the threat.
UNM went down in order in the ninth.
"I told them (Friday) that this was going to be a war today," Birmingham said. "We helped make it that."
The Lobos will aim to bounce back in the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We'll get the win (Sunday), I really don't have any doubt about it," Harris said. "We're going to come out, we're going to fight like we normally do. It's just frustrating when we don't come out every day."