BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The New Mexico State baseball team (32-20) held off CSU-Bakersfield to win 5-3 at Hardt Field in Bakersfield, Calif, Wednesday, May 16. The win gives head coach Rocky Ward win No. 400 of his career, which have all been at New Mexico State University.
The Aggies scored five runs in four innings and starting pitcher, junior Casey Collins handled his own throwing seven innings while striking out two batters and giving up two earned runs. Junior third baseman Robert Lecount led the offensive charge going 2-of-4 at the plate with two RBI.
After senior left fielder Tanner Waite tripled to right-centerfield in the third, senior right fielder Bryan Karraker doubled down the leftfield line to pick up an RBI. Lecount would come to the plate with two outs and single through the leftside to bring in Karraker and junior Parker Hipp, who got reached base on balls.
Junior shortstop Bryce Griffin helped the offensive charge with a double down the right field line to bring in senior Kyle Phillips who also got on with a double in the fourth. The Aggies didn't score after that and finished the night with five runs on 10 hits to go along with one error.
CSU-Bakersfield made a push scoring three runs on two in the eighth while NM State's only error helped the Roadrunners cause. CSU-Bakersfield also picked up an RBI on a walk before the Aggies brought in junior right hand pitcher Adam Mott to close out the game. Mott ended up with three strikeouts in one complete inning of work.
Head coach Rocky Ward started his career at NM State in 1997 and has had four straight 30-plus win seasons (2009-12) and two seasons with 40 or more wins (2003 & 2009). He is No. 1 on the all-time wins list at NM State with Jim Kwasny 100 wins behind him in the second spot. Ward has led his team to 80 wins over two seasons (2009-10) and has defeated top ranked teams such as No. 1 Texas Tech in 1997 and No. 5 Arizona in 2012.
The Aggies open a three-game Western Athletic Conference series with San Jose State, Friday, May 18 in San Jose, Calif.