THIS WEEK: The New Mexico State baseball team opens WAC play this week facing Texas State in a three-game series at Presley Askew Field. The league opener is Friday, March 22 at 6:05 p.m. (MT) with Saturday's game starting at the same time. The series finale is set for Sunday starting at 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 games this season, plus any in the post season.
The Texas State series is scheduled to air on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570, with Jeff Matthews. All games are scheduled to air live.
Fans can also listen to those three 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.
PROMOTIONS: Friday's game is "Boy Scout Night" with a post game autograph session. The concession will also be serving 50-cent ice cream. Saturday is the kids baseball clinic and "Las Cruces Rec League Night" with Memorial Medical Center giving away a license plate to the first 50 fans that arrive to the game. Sunday is "50-cent Hot Dog Night."
ABOUT THE AGGIES: The New Mexico State baseball team opens Western Athletic Conference play this week heading into the three-game series with Texas State with a 12-10 overall record, while it is 10-2 when playing at home.
The Aggies are hitting .290 as a team with a team-total of 172 runs scored and 21 home runs. NM State faces three right-hand starters this week and is 10-6 when going up against a righty-starter. The Aggies have played in two extra-inning games and are 2-0, defeating UW-Milwaukee 4-3 in the season opener (February 15) and La Salle 12-11 (March 10) in 10 innings. NM State has a good shot at winning Friday and Saturday's night games as it is 5-1 when playing in night games. The Aggies up their batting average to .332 when playing at night with senior Bobby Lecount leading the charge with a .444 batting average during those games.
Junior Tanner Rust leads the Aggie offense with a .375 batting average on the year, while Lecount isn't far behind with a .348 average. Lecount could be considered the power-hitter of the team as he leads the way with four home runs and 28 RBI's.
The Aggie pitching staff currently has a 4.73 ERA heading into the WAC opener compared to the 2012 pitching staff that had a 5.27 ERA heading into conference play. NM State has tallied 192 K's this season, as opposed to the 161 strikeouts posted by its opponents this year. Senior lefty Ryan Beck leads the Aggie starters with a 3.24 ERA and 32 strikeouts, while senior right-hander Adam Mott isn't far behind with a 3.97 ERA and 30 K's. Mott has worked the most innings of any Aggie pitcher with 34.0 innings pitched.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Texas State is 7-13 overall while going 0-7 when playing on the road. This is the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Bobcats are coached by Ty Harrington.
Tyler Pearson and Andrew Stumph lead the offensive side for the Bobcats. Pearson is hitting a .308 with two doubles, eight RBI and a .387 on-base percentage. Stumph has a .302 batting average with 10 RBI, a .377 slugging percentage and a .409 on-base percentage.
Heading up the pitching staff for Texas State are Taylor Black, Scott Grist and Kyle Finnegan. Black, who is pitching against the Aggies on Friday, March 22, has a 3.38 ERA, a 1-3 record and one complete game in 32 innings. He was a part of two shutouts, one in which he completed on his own. Grist, who is pitching on Saturday, has a 4.66 ERA, a 1-1 record and five starts in 29 innings. Finnegan has a 4.66 ERA, a 2-1 record, six appearances, five starts in 29 innings and is starting against NM State on Sunday, March 24.
PAULSON NAMED HITTER OF THE WEEK: Junior infielder Michael Paulson was been named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week on Monday, for the week of March 11-17.
He helped the Aggies to a 4-2 record last week with a four-game series sweep over Alabama A&M. Paulson hit .533 (8-for-15) with only a single strikeout over the six games. He also tallied four walks, seven RBI's, four doubles, scored seven runs and had a stolen base.
Paulson went 2-for-3 with an RBI in a 3-2 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma on Wednesday and followed that by scoring three runs in game one of a four-game series against Alabama A&M on Friday. In a 24-4 win over Alabama A&M during Saturday's doubleheader, Paulson was 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored while also marking a double. He finished the week going 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI and a double as the Aggies defeated the Bulldogs 30-3 in seven innings. Paulson is now hitting .333 on the year with 10 RBI.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADDNESS HONORS BOBBY LECOUNT: Senior infielder Bobby Lecount earned WAC player of the week from CollegeSportsMadness.com as he helped the Aggies to a 4-2 record last week. He posted a .412 batting average (7-of-17) and a .542 on-base percentage with four walks, while being hit by a pitch twice. Lecount tallied a team-high 10 RBI's on the week while he hammered two homeruns and finished the week with a .824 slugging percentage. Lecount scored one of the Aggies' two runs in a 3-2 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma as he got on base three times; twice by walks and once from being hit by a pitch. He posted a three-run homer in a 20-6 win over Alabama A&M to open the four-game series and also scored twice. In game one of the doubleheader on Saturday, Lecount went 2-of-4 with four RBI.
AGGIES IN WAC PLAY: The Aggies have a 73-96 overall record in conference play since joining the WAC in 2006.
The Aggies first game came in 2006 and was a 9-1 loss to Nevada on March 24. NM State won its first ever WAC game on April 2, 2006 defeating Fresno State 9-8 in Las Cruces.
The Aggies are opening 2013-conference play against Texas State, March 22. This is the second earliest the Aggies have opened WAC play, with the earliest coming in 2007 when the Aggies opened league play against Sacramento State on March 16, 2007. NM State lost that game 7-3 in Las Cruces.
NM State is 5-2 in WAC opening games.
SCORING RUNS: The Aggies have outscored their opponents 172-130 so far this season with 79 of those runs coming in a four-game series with Alabama A&M. NM State is first in the league in runs while it is No. 5 nationally. The Aggies are also first in the WAC in RBI's.
The 30-3 win over Alabama A&M is the largest margin of victory by any team in the nation this season according to WarrenNolan.com. That game also featured the most runs scored by any team in the nation during the 2013 season. NM State is averaging 7.9 runs per game which ranks 14th nationally. Georgia Tech leads all NCAA DI teams posting 10.0 runs per game.
Tanner Rust leads the Aggies and is tied for the lead in the WAC with 26 runs scored so far this year. Michael Medina is No. 4 in the league with 20 runs and Parker Hipp joins Quinnton Mack for the No. 5 spot in the conference with 19 runs scored.
AGGIES IN THE WAC: On the offensive side, NM State has many players ranked in the top 10 in the WAC. Tanner Rust is ranked fourth in batting average (.375) and tied for first in hits with 26. Michael Medina is fourth in the WAC with 20 hits, followed by Parker Hipp and Quinnton Mack, who are tied for fifth with 19 hits apiece. Rust in tied for third in the WAC with seven and is second in total bases with 46. Medina in No. 2 in total plate appearances in the WAC with 99, followed by Hipp tied for third (98), Rust tied for fifth (97) and Robert Lecount, who is tied for seventh with 95. Rust is No. 4 (.575) and Lecount is No. 5 (.565) in slugging percentage. Rust is tied for second in hits with 30.
The Aggies have five players in the top 10 in walks in the WAC. Hipp leads the WAC with 23, Medina is third was 18 and Rust, Mack and Lecount are tied for fifth with 15.
Lecount leads the WAC in sacrifice flies with six, while Rust in tied for sixth in at bats with 80. Hipp leads the WAC in on base percentage (.490), Rust is ranked third (.479), Lecount is seventh (.463) and Medina is ninth (.455). Lecount is No. 1 in RBI with 28 and tied for home runs with four. Derek Umphres, Hipp and Rust are tied for fifth with three home runs apiece. Mack is tied for first in stolen bases (7) and stolen base attempts (8). Rust and Medina are tied for third with six stolen bases apiece and tied for seventh in stolen base attempts with six.
Ryan Beck is tenth in the WAC in opposing batting average with a .224, while Adam Mott is third in innings pitched with 34. The Aggies have four pitchers in the top 10 for batters struck out with Beck tied for fourth (32), Adam Mott in sixth (30), Michael Ormseth in ninth (26) and Evan Mott in tenth (24). Casey Collins is tied for fourth in saves in the WAC with two while Christopher Bradley is tied for sixth in games finished with six. Beck is tied for second in batters struck out looking (13) and Evan Mott is tied for sixth (9). Evan Mott is tied for second in appearances and games in relief with 12. Beck is tied for No. 1 in the WAC in wins with four. Adam Mott is No. 2 in the WAC in runners picked off with five, while Bradley is tied for sixth with two.
AGGIES IN THE NATION: NM State is ranked 16th in the nation in scoring, fifth in runs and 26th in hits. The Aggies are 39th in doubles, No. 9 in home runs per game and No. 3 in home runs. The Aggies are second nationally in walks and sixth in strikeouts per nine innings.
Tanner Rust is ranked ninth in runs, 37th in runs per game and 43rd in hits in the nation. Robert Lecount is No. 1 in the nation in sacrifice flies and 26th in RBI per game. Parker Hipp is No. 4 in walks and 18th in walks per game in the nation. Ryan Beck is 16th in the nation in victories and 21st in strikeouts per nine innings.
LOOKING BACK: The Aggies went 4-2 last week, winning all four games played at home and losing two on the road.
NM State fell 3-2 against No. 17 Oklahoma in the final inning of the game, Wednesday, March 13. NM State took a 2-1 lead in the seventh before Oklahoma tied the Aggies on an RBI double. Senior pitcher Adam Mott earned a team high of 30 K's on the year in a total of 3 innings.
NM State swept Alabama A&M in a four game home series at Presley Askew Field March 15-17. The Aggies opened the series with 20-6 victory on Friday, March 15 after coming back from a 5-0 deficit. They beat Alabama A&M in a double-header by a score of 24-4 in game one and 5-3 in game two. Eight different players had at least one RBI in the game scoring 24 runs off 21 hits and earning 11 walks. In the final game of the series the Aggies dominated the Bulldogs with a 30-3 victory scoring 30 runs off 26 hits and five walks on the day. The Aggies scored a total of 79 runs throughout the whole series. Senior Parker Hipp tied the all-time career school record for walks with 142 and only needs one more to break the record.
TANNER RUST NAMED WAC HITTER OF THE WEEK: Rust was been named the W AC Baseball Hitter of the Week, for the week of March 4-10. Rust helped the Aggies to a 4-0 record during that 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 3/19/13) RECORD (RECORD HOLDER) COUNTDOWN TO RECORD
Hits 219 260 (Henry Apodaca, 78-81) 42
Runs 159 192 (Chris Fanning, 88-91) 34
1B 167 204 (Henry Apodaca, 78-81) 37
2B 38 51 (Chris Fanning, 88-91) 14
RBI 161 208 (Billy Becher, 03-04) 48
BB 142 142 (Richard Stout, 07-09) TIED
SF 14 19 (Ryan Kenning, 01-02) 6
BECK SHOOTING FOR STRIKEOUT RECORD: Senior pitcher Ryan Beck has 254 strikeouts in his career and needs 67 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.
TAKE YOUR BASE: The Aggies have racked up 143 walks so far this season. NM State is first in the WAC with 47 more walks than the No. 2 team in the league. The Aggies rank second nationally in walks as Central Arkansas leads the way with 150 on the year. Senior Parker Hipp leads the team with a total of 23 walks this season followed by Michael Medina who has 18.
Hipp is heads into the weekend with 142 walks on his career, which is tied for the school record. Former Aggie Richard Stout posted 142 from 2007-09.
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.
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.
LOOKING AHEAD: NM State goes head-to-head against Texas Tech on Monday, March 25 at 6:05 p.m. (MT). The Aggies hold a 16-37 record against the Red Raiders since 1965. The game can be heard live in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570.
The Aggies then take to the road to play a three-game conference series at CSU Bakersfield March 28-30. Thursday and Friday's game begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by Saturday's game at 2:00 p.m. NM State and CSU Bakersfield went head-to-head for the first time in the 2012 season in which the Aggies won 1-0.