MESA, Ariz. –The New Mexico State baseball team fell 9-5 to No. 1 seed Sacramento State in an elimination game of the 2014 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, Friday, May 23 at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz. The Aggies finish their season 23-31 overall.
NM State scored its five runs on six hits and committed just one error while the Hornets posted nine runs on 12 hits and also committed one error. Left-handed starting pitcher Robert Kraft was given the loss after working just a third of an inning and giving up four runs. Kraft started the earlier game versus Texas-Pan American and threw 92 pitches in that game.
Sacramento State starting pitcher Sam Long was credited with the win working 5.2 innings and is now 8-1 on the year, while reliever Alex Palsha earned the save working 3.1 innings and striking out seven batters.
The Aggies got into a rut falling behind 6-0 after two complete innings of play but bounced back and picked up two runs in the bottom of the third. Those runs crossed the plate on a double to left-centerfield by sophomore third baseman Derek Umphres.
After Sacramento State scored another two runs in the top of the fifth, the Aggies tallied three runs on three hits including a solo-home run by senior first baseman Kristoffer Koerper, who was using a wood bat again. Shortstop Kent Blackstone got an RBI on a groundout to the first baseman and catcher Taylor Noyer tallied an RBI on a sacrifice fly, which moved the score to 8-5 after six complete innings of play.
The Hornets got another run on the board in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly and the game finished by the score of 9-5.
Both Koerper brothers (Joseph and Kristoffer) finished the game going 2-of-4 at the plate and each scored a run. Kristoffer had the one RBI on his home run shot.