THIS WEEK: The New Mexico State baseball team hits the road for a two-game midweek series against Oklahoma, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12-13, with both games beginning at 5:30 p.m. (MT). The Aggies then return home to face Alabama A&M in a four-game series, starting Friday, March 15, at 6:05 p.m. (MT). Saturday features a doubleheader starting at 3:05 p.m., while the series finale is scheduled for Sunday, March 17 with the first pitch set for 1:05 p.m.
MEDIA COVERAGE: NM State baseball fans will have plenty of opportunities to follow their Aggies on the radio again this season with the voice of Aggie baseball, Jeff Matthews on KSNM AM 570. The Aggies are scheduled to broadcast 34 baseball games this season, plus any in the post season.
Both games in the Oklahoma series are scheduled to air on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570, with Jeff Matthews, as well as Friday and Sunday's games against Alabama A&M. Although, all games this week are subject to change due to other sporting events in New Mexico.
Fans can also listen to those four games live on the Internet by clicking on the live events link on www.NMStateSports.com for a small fee.
Live stats are available all season long by going to www.NMStateSports.com and clicking on the live events tab. Live stats are free of charge all season.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can keep up with score updates and other information by logging on to Twitter @NMStateAggies. Fans can find out about promotions and everything else Aggie by going on Facebook and searching for NMSU Athletics as well as The Aggie Student-Athlete.
TICKETS: Fans can call the Pan American Center ticket office or call (575) 646-1420 to purchase tickets ahead of time or walk up to the ticket booth at Presley Askew Field to buy tickets the day of the game.
Season tickets for baseball are $49 for adults, $44 for NM State faculty and staff and $44 for senior citizens. There is also a partial season-ticket package that includes 19 for only $29. Single game tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 per ticket with groups of ten or more. Children 12-and-under can enter the games for free, while NM State students also get in free.
PROMOTION: Friday is Greek Night, recognizing NM State's Greek fraternities and sororities. Also, fans can purchase ice cream during Friday's game for only 50-cents. Saturday will be Kids Night and a post-game running of the bases. Sunday's game is a St. Patrick's Day Green Out and the concession is selling green cotton candy.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: The Aggies head are back to .500 after sweeping La Salle last weekend. They are 6-2 at home, 1-5 on the road and 1-1 when playing at a neutral site. The Aggies have shut-out two of their opponents (Ohio, Feb. 22 & Wake Forest, March 3), while being shut-out once (UW-Milwaukee, Feb. 15). They have played and won two extra-inning games (UW-Milwaukee, Feb. 15 & La Salle, March 10). NM State heads into the week riding a five-game win streak, which is the longest of the season.
NM State continues to improve its batting average and heads into this week's play hitting .263 as a team. The Aggies have tallied 91 runs on the year with junior Tanner Rust leading the way with 18 runs scored.
The Aggie pitching staff has a 4.89 ERA heading into this week's play with senior Ryan Beck leading the way. Beck has a 2.84 ERA in eight appearances and two starts while he was a part of two shutouts. Senior Adam Mott leads the team in innings pitched with 25.2 innings of work and has tallied the most strikeouts with 23. Relief pitcher Evan Mott (twin brother of Adam Mott) has made the most appearances on the team with nine and has marked 19 K's after posting a career-high seven against La Salle (March 10) in a 12-11 come-back win.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
Oklahoma: The Sooners are 12-4 overall this season and coached by Sunny Golloway. According to NCAA Division I Baseball Rankings, Oklahoma is ranked No. 14 in the nation. Matt Oberste leads the Sooners with a .410 batting average, a .803 slugging percentage and a .479 on-base percentage. In the pitching staff, Jonathan Gray has a 3-1 record with a 2.03 ERA, 27 strikeouts, while holding the opponent batting average to 1.87.
NM State is 3-7 all-time against Oklahoma. The teams first met in 1969 and last faced each other in 1992. The Aggies won the first ever meeting 4-3 and lost the second game 3-1. NM State took on the Sooner three times in 1987 defeating them once in the Pan American Tournament. The Aggies fell twice to Oklahoma in the UNLV Tournament that year. During the 1992 season, NM State won 5-0 and lost 10-9 in 11 innings during the Team Casa Classic in El Paso, Texas.
Alabama A&M: The Bulldogs are 2-15 overall this season and are coached by Michael Tompkins. T.J. Lindsey leads Alabama A&M with a batting average of .375 and an on-base percentage of .457. Allen Belue heads up the Bulldog's pitching staff with a 5.73 ERA, a 0-2 record and nine strikeouts in 22 innings.
This is the first meeting between the Aggies and the Bulldogs.
TANNER RUST NAMED WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK: Rust has been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week, for the week of March 4-10. Rust, a junior from Lakeside, Calif., helped the Aggies to a 4-0 record last week with a four-game series sweep over LaSalle. Rust hit .600 (9-for-15) without a single strikeout over the four games. He also tallied two walks, four RBI, scored eight runs and was 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts.
Rust opened the series with the Explorers going 3-for-4 with two RBI and scored a season-high three runs as the Aggies won 18-8 in eight innings. He went 2-for-3 in game one of a double-header on Saturday with one RBI and two runs scored with NM State winning 8-2. Rust followed up hitting a double in game two of the double-header as the Aggies won 4-2 in seven innings. In the series finale, Rust was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored as the Aggies came-from-behind to win 12-11 in 10 innings. Rust tallied a double each day of the series.
HIPP WATCH: Senior Parker Hipp has a chance at breaking eight-different records at NM State. Below are the categories and his career stats with a tally on how many more he needs to break the record.
STAT HIPP'S NUMBERS (as of 3/11/13) RECORD (RECORD HOLDER) COUNTDOWN TO RECORD
Hits 214 206 (Henry Apodaca, 78-81) 47
Runs 151 192 (Chris Fanning, 88-91) 42
1B 163 204 (Henry Apodaca, 78-81) 42
2B 38 51 (Chris Fanning, 88-91) 14
RBI 153 208 (Billy Becher, 03-04) 56
BB 134 142 (Richard Stout, 07-09) 9
SF 14 19 (Ryan Kenning, 01-02) 6
BECK SHOOTING FOR STRIKEOUT RECORD: Senior pitcher Ryan Beck has 244 strikeouts in his career and needs 77 to catch record-holder Gary Goldsmith (1990-93). He is currently No. 4 on the all-time list as he just surpassed former Aggie Mark Conti (1978-81) who finished his career with 238 K's. Former Aggie Jason Conner (2004-08) is now No. 6 as he tallied 235 strikeouts during his time.
AGGIES IN THE WAC: NM State is 8-8 and is in the middle of the pack for all WAC schools. UTSA has the best record in the league at 12-5 heading into week five of play. CSU Bakersfield in 10-5, while Sacramento State and UT-Arlington are both 9-6.
NM State is tied for sixth with San Jose State in batting average (.263), third in runs scored (91) and tied for first with UTSA in home runs (10). The Aggies also lead the league in walks (100), strikeouts (119) and stolen bases (22).
The Aggie pitching staff leads the WAC in strikeouts (137) and batters struck-out looking (44).
Individually, Tanner Rust ranks No. 3 in runs scored (18) and No. 7 in hits (21). Junior Bobby Lecount is second in the league for RBI (18), tied for fifth in home runs (2), tied for fourth in walks (11) and first in sacrifice flies (5).
There are five Aggies in the top 10 in the WAC for walks including Parker Hipp who is No. 1 with 15 walks heading into the week. Quinnton Mack, Michael Medina, Bobby Lecount and Kyle Phillips are the other four Aggies in the top 10 for walks.
On the mound, Adam Mott is No. 6 in the league for innings pitched (25.2) and No. 5 in strikeouts (23). Senior Ryan Beck is No. 7 in the WAC for K's and tied for third in the league for strikeouts looking (10). Mott is also No. 2 in pick offs (5). Adam's twin brother Evan Mott is tied for the league lead in appearances with nine.
TAKE YOUR BASE: The Aggies have racked up 100 walks so far this season. NM State is first in the WAC with 27 more walks than the No. 2 team in the league. The Aggies rank fourth nationally in walks as Central Arkansas leads the way with 123 on the year. Senior Parker Hipp leads the team with a total of 15 walks this season followed by Robert Lecount, Michael Medina and Quinnton Mack all with 11 walks.
Last season the Aggies were ranked second in the nation with 347 walks. Tanner Waite led the nation in walks with 69 and Parker Hipp also walked 57 times and was ranked sixth in the nation.
LOOKING BACK: The Aggies opened up a four games series with an 18-8 victory in eight innings over La Salle, March 8 at Presley Askew Field. NM State continued their winning streak in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 9 with an 8-2 win in game one and 4-2 in game two that lasted a scheduled seven innings. Senior Ryan Beck struck out seven batters in game one while Michael Ormseth struck out six in game two.
The Aggies ended the series with a 12-11 victory, Sunday, March 10 as they came back from a 9-2 deficit.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Aggies open Western Athletic Conference play facing Texas State in a three-game series, March 22-24 at Presley Askew field. Friday and Saturday's game begin at 6:05 p.m. followed by Sunday's game at 1:05 p.m. This will be the first time the Aggies and Bobcats go head-to-head. Games can be heard live in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570.
WAC PRESEASON POLL: New Mexico State baseball was selected to finish third in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference regular season, in the coaches' preseason poll behind Dallas Baptist and Texas State, the WAC announced.
The Aggies received 60 points in the voting that was done by the 10 WAC baseball coaches after a 35-24 season (11-7 WAC), which resulted in the 2012 WAC regular season co-champion title and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Dallas Baptist, who joined the WAC this year, was picked to win the league with 80 points and eight first place votes after a 41-19 season. Surpassing the Aggies for the second spot is Texas State who received 65 points and one first place vote.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Senior short stop Parker Hipp of the New Mexico State baseball team was recently named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American baseball team, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Hipp was a third team selection after hitting .349 with 51 runs scored and 49 RBI last year. He was first on the team in on-base percentage (.488) as he helped the Aggies win a share of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference title.
Hipp also posted 17 doubles, one triple and one home run on the year while he led the team defensively with 148 assists. The middle-infielder was also in on the most double-plays (30) in 2012 as he finished the year making nice plays in the Aggies' NCAA Tournament appearance. Hipp was a second team All-WAC selection last year as he hit .328 (21-of-64) in league play with four doubles and 17 RBI.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS PRESEASON TEAMS: CollegeSportsMadness.com recently announced its baseball preseason all-conference teams and All-American teams with New Mexico State well represented. Senior right-hand pitcher Adam Mott and senior short stop Parker Hipp were named first team members on the preseason team, while infielder Tanner Rust and outfielder Kyle Phillips earned second team honors.
Parker Hipp earned CollegeSportsMadness.com All-American honors as he was named to the fourth team.