Greenville, N.C. -- The New Mexico State baseball team opened up play at the 10th Annual Keith LeClair Classic, hosted by East Carolina at Clark-LeClair Stadium, Friday afternoon. The Aggies defeated the Ohio Bobcats, 7-0 in their first game of the tournament and now move to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 on the road.
Right-handed pitcher Adam Mott led the Aggies to the victory, pitching seven full innings, allowing no runs on five hits, while striking out five batters. Ryan Beck pitched two innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two batters.
The Aggie offense was led by first baseman Michael Paulson, who hit two homeruns on the day, both single shots. He finished 2-for-5 and with two RBI, while Parker Hipp also hit a homerun, a three run shot, finishing the day going 2-for-4, with one run scored and three RBI.
NM State struck first in the top of the third as Paulson cracked a one-run homerun down the right field line, giving the Aggies a 1-0 lead. Two innings later, Paulson hit his second homerun of the game, extending the Aggies’ lead to 2-0.
The Bobcats threatened in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the inning with a double, as the runner advanced to third on sacrifice bunt. But Adam Mott struck out the next batter and forced a ground out to end the inning.
The Aggies added two more runs in the top of the sixth. Robert Lecount walked to start the inning and took second on a wild pitch. He then advanced to third on the second wild pitch of the inning with just one out. Cody Edwards and Kyle Phillips then walked to load the bases. Quinnton Mack stepped to plate and drew the third straight walk, which scored Lecount from third. Michael Medina followed that with a walk of his own, scoring Edwards, giving NM State a 4-0.
NM State started the top of the ninth with walks by Medina and Tanner Rust. Hipp crushed a three run homerun to right field to extend the Aggies’ lead to 7-0 with no outs. It was the third homerun on the day for the Aggies. NM State then loaded the bases with two outs. Paulson then hit a long fly ball to center field to end the inning.
The Bobcats got a single in the bottom of the ninth but it was too little too late, as the Aggies took the win, 7-0.The Aggies will face Illinois at 1 p.m. (MT) weather permitting on Saturday.