LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State baseball team travels to Bakersfield, Calif., May 9-11 for a three-game series with Bakersfield. Friday and Saturday’s games are scheduled for 7 p.m. (MT), while Sunday’s contest is set for 2 p.m. (MT). All games will be on radio as Jeff Matthews brings Aggie fans all the action from the booth on KGRT 570 AM.
Aggies versus Bakersfield
NM State has seen two competitions against Bakersfield and has a 2-2 overall record. The first game was during the Aggies 2012 season when they won 3-2. The second meeting came during in 2013 in a three-game series. The Aggies went 2-1 during the series winning the last game 5-4. The largest losing margin was during the second game of the three game series where the Aggies lost 13-2.
The Roadrunners as a team hold a .258 batting average and are led by Garrett Pierce with a .307 batting average. Pierce has added 43 hits for the ‘Runners this season with 18 RBI and a slugging percentage of .357. On the mound, Bakersfield has a 4.36 team-ERA led by Steven Gee throwing a 2.87 ERA. Gee has a 2-1 record with 11 appearances and one save on the season. Gee has pitched 31.1 innings for the Runners recording 17 strikeouts and holding his opponents to a .261 batting average.
2012 W 3-2
2013 L 4-0
Aggies in the WAC
NM State is at 9-9 in Western Athletic Conference play while going 18-25 overall. The Aggies currently sit at fourth place in team batting with a .263 average and 374 hits on the overall season. In WAC games only, the Aggies are sixth in on-base percentage averaging a .363 and eighth with a .329 slugging percentage. Offensively, NM State is third against WAC opponents for runs scored (243) and second with 222 RBI. On the mound, the Aggies are eighth for earned runs allowed (214) and seventh with a 5.21 ERA. The Aggies average 6.94 strikeouts per game placing them first against WAC opponents.
Individually, outfielder Michael Medina places in the top 10 in WAC categories for the Aggies. Medina is placed first on the board with his .518 on base percentage and is seen in the top 10 with his .355 batting average. Riley Barr leads the team on the mound in WAC play with his 2.22 ERA. Christopher Bradley is second against WAC opponents with 9.38 strikeouts per game.
Aggies in the Nation
NM State is No. 65 nationally with its .370 on base percentage (65) and 76th in scoring (5.7/game). The team is 22nd in the nation for double plays per game averaging 1.02 per game. Individually, Michael Medina is 25th in the nation with 35 walks averaging .81 per game which places him 17th in the nation for base on balls per game. Medina places in the top 75 of 250 ranked with his .467 on base percentage. Closer Trey Gonzales places in the top 100 with six saves on the season.
NM State Baseball Last Five Games
The Aggies have lost four of their last five outings with their lone victory coming against conference opponent, Utah Valley. In that game, NM State played extremely well in front of their home crowd, winning by a score of 11-3. They also enjoyed an outstanding performance out of sophomore infielder, Derek Umphres, who had one run, two hits and four RBI in the game.
A number of Aggies have performed at a high level over the course of the past five games. Freshman pitcher and first baseman Chad Ramsey has been a solid contributor for the Aggies, leading the team with a .333 batting average and he is also tied for second on the team with four hits. Umphres has been a key player for NM State during the five-game span as well, leading the team with six RBI and five hits. Senior pitcher Christopher Bradley has been lights out as of late with a 1.42 ERA and a team leading 10 strikeouts.
NM State’s Last Ten Games
The NM State Aggies baseball team has gone 4-6 in the last 10 games played. The Aggies have played eight conference games in the past 10 games. In the WAC, the Aggies are 3-5. NM State had a double header against Seattle U losing the first game 9-3 and winning the last game 6-5 on April 18. This past weekend the team played a three-game series against Utah Valley winning just one game.
Senior Michael Medina has a .300 batting average in the last 10 games and is the leadoff hitter. Medina has seen 30 at bats, recording nine runs and nine hits.
Sophomore Zach Freeman has posted a 2.61 ERA in the last 10 games making three appearances and has pitched 10.1 innings. Freeman has allowed only six runs, while striking out six players.
Aggies on the Road
NM State has an overall record of 7-13 in away games this season. However, the Aggies have found a way to put together victories as of late, winning six of their past 11 away games. They also have an impressive conference road game record of 6-3 with one of the most recent victories coming on Apr. 26, against Grand Canyon where they won by a score of 2-1.
The four headed monster of Derek Umphres, Michael Paulson, Michael Medina and Joseph Koerper has carried the Aggies on the road this season. In away games, Umphres leads the team with a .351 batting average, 15 runs, 27 hits and 17 RBI. Paulson is second on the team with 12 RBI and 20 hits while Medina is second on the team with 13 hits and is also tied for second on the team with 20 hits. Koerper is second on the team with a batting average of .328 and has also racked up seven RBI.
The next road game for NM State will take place on May 9, against conference opponent Bakersfield.
NM State Multiple Hits/RBI
NM State has a total of 13 players who have had multiple hits in at least one game this season. Derek Umphres is the leader for the Aggies with 17 total games with multiple hits and 13 games where he has had two hits. Kristoffer Koerper leads the team with six games with three hits. Umphres, Michael Paulson and Koerper are the only Aggies to have four hits in a single game. Paulson is currently tied with Michael Medina for the longest hitting streak on the season with eight. Medina currently has the team-high reached base streak this season with 19, while Kristoffer Koerper is tied with his brother Joseph Koerper as the two are second for NM State with streaks of 14 reached bases on the season. With 10 total games of multiple RBI, five games with three RBI and one game where he actually had five RBI, Kristoffer Koerper leads NM State in each category.
Head Coach Rocky Ward Gets Win No. 450
In his 18th season as the Aggies head coach, Ward has racked up the most wins in NM State history with 450, with the second most wins for a coach being held by Jim Kwasny (1969-82) who had 300 wins at NM State. The 450th victory came against Utah Valley on May 3, when the Aggies won by a score of 11-3 in front of the NM State home crowd. Ward entered the 2010 season just two wins shy of Kwasny. Recording 36 wins that season put Ward at the top of the All-Time win list. Ward will be looking for win No. 451 against Bakersfield on May 9.
Having started his coaching career with the Aggies in 1997, Ward has been the lone head coach for NM State for 16 of his 18 years at the school. In 2001 and 2002, Ward shared coaching duties with College Baseball Hall of Famer and father, Gary Ward. The best record the Aggies have achieved under Ward came in 2009, where he coached the Aggies to a 44-17 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kent Blackstone – Shortstop
Aggie sophomore infielder Kent Blackstone is hitting .218 on the year with 29 hits and 24 runs scored. Blackstone has played 41 games, starting 39 on the season. Blackstone’s longest hitting streak was four games. Blackstone has 133 at bats, 12 RBI, 24 runs and 104 assists on the season.
Blackstone was 2-for-2 against SIU-Edwardsville on Feb. 22, with three runs and an RBI. Blackstone also has a career-high for four stolen bases as the Aggies won 12-2. Blackstone had eight at bats versus Oakland on March 1. That day he hit his only homerun on the season, three runs, six hits and three RBI during the doubleheader. On March 14 against UC Davis, Blackstone scored three runs and hit a triple.
Riley Barr - RHP
Right-handed pitcher Riley Barr has a 4-0 record on the season, with a 2.50 earned run average in 36 innings of work. Barr has only given up 10 earned runs this season. Barr struck out eight batters and allowed only two runs against Northern Colorado on April 5, the Aggies up by three winning 7-4. In WAC play, Barr has only given up three runs, two of them earned. Barr is 2-0 in league play and has a 1.17 earned run average. Leading the pitching staff with 15 appearances, Barr only walked 10 batters and 39 hits on the season. Barr pitched five innings at Texas Tech on March 8, giving up five hits, three runs, with two being earned, with the Aggies losing by one with a 7-8 final score. Looking back on March 16, Barr pitched five innings against UC Davis, allowing only three runs and six hits, Aggies cutting it one run short at a 5-6 final score.
Christopher Bradley - LHP
Senior pitcher Christopher Bradley has been a consistent contributor for NM State on the mound. Among starting pitchers, Bradley is second on the Aggies with a 4.23 ERA this season. He also leads his squad in strikeouts with 58 on the year, highlighted by two season-high strikeout games coming against Seattle on Apr. 17 when he had seven strikeouts and Utah Valley on May 2, when he pitched a season-high and career-high 10 strikeouts. Bradley has started all 12 games he has appeared in this season while accumulating a record of 3-5. He also places second on the team with 29 earned runs and leads the team with 61.2 innings pitched. Bradley also has allowed a total of 61 hits on the year.
Kristoffer Koerper - Infielder
Infielder Kris Koerper has started in 41 games for the Aggies during the 2014 season. Koerper is second on the team with a .303 batting average in 155 at bats. He has added three homeruns for the Aggies and recorded 33 RBI with a .426 slugging percentage on the season. In conference play, Koerper has a .239 batting average with 12 RBI and a .299 slugging percentage. Koerper leads the team with multiple RBI games totaling 10 on the season. His best game came against Oakland on Feb. 28 going 4-for-5 in hits. Koerper recorded one homerun and hit in five RBI during the game bringing him to a .447 batting average.
Billy Conard - RHP
Conard has a 3-3 record this season for the Aggies, having started ten games and making 13 appearances. In 55.2 innings of work Conard has recorded a 5.01 ERA, allowing 31 earned runs and 22 walks while striking out 46 batters.
Conard has had three straight impressive outings for NM State. After pitching a then season-high six strikeouts against Seattle U on April 18, he matched that performance in a game against Grand Canyon on Apr. 26, when he had six strikeouts for the second straight game in which he played. On May 3, Conard recorded a season-high seven strikeouts in an 11-3 victory over Utah Valley. Conard has recorded three or more strikeouts in nine games for the Aggies.
Taylor Noyer - Catcher
Senior catcher Taylor Noyer has picked up 14 hits with eight RBI on the season while playing catcher for the Aggies. Noyer has 75 at bats and 12 runs. On April 2, Noyer hit his only homerun on the season against NM State I-10 rivals, University of New Mexico in a 17-7 loss. Noyer has 19 assists on the field this season. As the catcher Noyer has 156 putouts on the season. In WAC play, Noyer has a .278 batting average in 18 at bats with five hits and four runs.
Michael Medina – Outfielder
Senior outfielder, Michael Medina, has started all 43 games this season with NM State. Medina is batting .287 on the season and leads the team in runs with 37 runs off of 43 hits. He also leads the Aggies with 35 walks this season.
Since WAC play started on Friday, March 21, Medina leads NM State starters with a .355 batting average, .435 slugging percentage, and .518 on base percentage. He started all 18 WAC games for the Aggies this season recording 17 runs on 22 hits, while racking up 10 RBI.
In games away from Las Cruces, Medina is hitting .282 and tallied 13 runs and 20 hits off of 70 at bats. He has a .453 on base percentage and a .352 slugging percentage in those away games.
Medina leads NM State with his current reached base streak which is at 19 and counting. Behind the plate he has 10 games with at least two hits, and three games thus far where he recorded three hits for the Aggies. With the hits comes RBI as Medina have five games were he has recorded at least two RBI.
Medina’s best outing of the year came on Fri. April, 4, against Northern Colorado. He went 3-4 behind the plate and tallied three runs in the game. He also recorded two RBI and had two stolen bases.
Matt Evans – Infielder
Freshman Matt Evans plays infield for the NM State Aggies. Evans has started eight games for the Aggies. Evans has 28 at bats, four runs and four hits on the season. Evans has picked up career highs, three at bats during the games against SIU-Edwardsville on Feb 21, against Oakland on Feb 28 and against Utah Valley on May 2. Evans has a RBI on March 9 against Texas Tech the Aggies lost 14-4. Evans has a career high with four assists against Arizona State in Phoenix on April 29, the Aggies lost 2-0.
Michael Paulson – Outfielder
Michael Paulson is having a fantastic year as an outfielder for the Aggies, starting in all 43 games for NM State this season. He currently has 29 runs on the year and 46 hits while he is also tied for second on the team with a batting average of .303. Paulson is third on the team with 29 RBI and ranks fourth in the conference with 30 walks. Setting five single season game-highs, Paulson has had two productive outings against Northern Colorado. On April 4, he recorded four hits, two doubles, six total bases and three RBI which were all season-highs in a 16-4 win over Northern Colorado. On April 6, Paulson also set a season-high three runs scored in a 12-9 win over Northern Colorado. Micahel Paulson is currently tied with Michael Medina for the longest hitting streak of the season for the Aggies with eight games where he recorded at least one hit. Paulson has had 14 games this season where he has had at least two hits.
Robert Kraft – LHP
Junior pitcher, Robert Kraft, has appeared in 15 games and has started in 10 games for NM State this season. Kraft has pitched a total of 47.1 innings for the Aggies this year while pitching 29 strikeouts, which is good for fourth on the team. Kraft enjoyed a standout performance against Oakland on March 1, when he struck out a season-high seven batters. Among starting pitchers for NM State, Kraft has given up the second least amount of hits with 59. In conference play, Kraft has pitched 12 innings while also pitching eight strikeouts. He is 1-3 so far this season.
Kyle Graf – Infielder
Junior infielder, Kyle Graf, has seen minimal playing time this season for NM State. Graf really got out on the diamond starting on Wed. April, 2 against in state rival New Mexico. In the field he has recorded 19 assists and a .923 fielding percentage. Thus far, Graf has five runs and has recorded three RBI.
Since WAC play has started Graft is batting .200 and started five games for the Aggies. Graf has tallied a .267 slugging percentage, .368 on base percentage and four runs in conference play. He has 11 assists and a .950 fielding percentage in WAC games.
Derek Umphres – Infielder
Infielder Derek Umphres leads the team with a .321 batting average in 43 appearances for the Aggies. Umphres has 50 hits on the season and 31 RBI. He has recorded a .455 slugging percentage in 156 at bats and has three homeruns on the season. In conference play, Umphres has a .286 batting average and slugging at .397. Umphres recorded 12 putouts against Seattle U on April 19 with five assists against Texas Tech on March 8 to set his season-game highs.
Zach Freeman – RHP
Sophomore pitcher, Zach Freeman, has appeared in 16 games this season for the Aggies. Freeman made his first start of the season for NM State on May 4 against conference opponent Utah Valley. On the year, Freeman has a record of 3-4 in 34.2 innings of work. In 2.2 innings against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 15, Freeman pitched a season-high five strikeouts while helping his team to an 8-6 victory. On Feb. 21, Freeman tied his season-high of five strikeouts against SIU-Edwardsville in 6 innings. Freeman has struck out 29 batters which ties him for fourth on the team in that category.
Chad Ramsey – Infielder
Infielder Chad Ramsey has seen the plate 25 times for the Aggies during the 2014 season. He records a .320 batting average with eight hits on the season and has a .360 slugging percentage. During the three game series against Utah Valley on May 2-4, Ramsey batted at .333 percent with four hits and five putouts. Defensively, Ramsey has pitched 11 total innings for NM State. He records five strikeouts and has a 3.27 ERA. Ramsey holds his opponents to a .256 batting average.
Kyle Young – Outfielder
Junior outfielder, Kyle Young, has started 22 games this season for NM State. In 75 at bats for the Aggies, Young has recorded a .253 batting average and a .333 slugging percentage. He has 13 RBI off of 19 hits this season.
In games away from Las Cruces, Young is batting an even .300 and started nine games for NM State. During the away games he tallied nine hits and recorded a .367 on base percentage.
Although, Young has not seen much action in WAC play, when he does get his opportunity he takes advantage of it. Since WAC play has started he has seen six starts for the Aggies. Young is batting .417 in WAC play with a .542 slugging percentage and a .500 on base percentage. In WAC play, he is tallied five RBI on 10 hits.
During the season Young recorded a streak where he reached base in nine consecutive games for NM State.
Trey Gonzales – Closing Pitcher
Sophomore pitcher Trey Gonzales has been a solid option for NM State this season. Gonzales has appeared in 15 games this season while striking out 12 batters. He has only allowed eight earned runs, 21 hits and 10 runs on the season. Gonzales has pitched a total of 20.1 innings, highlighted by a season-high three inning appearance against Texas Tech on March 8. His most productive outing came against Texas-Pan American on March 22, when he struck out a season-high three batters in only one inning of action. Gonzales currently has an ERA of 3.54 on the season.
Umphres Name WAC Hitter of the Week
Third baseman Derek Umphres was named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for the week of March 31-April 6. This is his first player of the week honor for Umphres.
Umphres, a sophomore from Safford, Ariz. (Safford HS), hit .500 (8-for-16), striking out only one time in four games last week. The Aggies went 3-1 on the week, while sweeping WAC opponent Northern Colorado and falling to in-state rival New Mexico.
Umphres picked up seven singles and a home run while finishing the week with nine RBI and a .688 slugging percentage. Umphres also tallied two walks and two sacrifice flies while not allowing a single error on defense. He did what he could in a loss to the Lobos on April 2 as he was 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. In a series-opening win over Northern Colorado, Umphres went 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.
NM State wraps up its final series of the year as they take on Chicago State beginning on Thursday, May 15, at Presley Askew Field. The first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
Chicago State has an overall record of 14-31 and is 3-15 in WAC play. The Cougars are led by second year head coach Steve Joslyn.
Behind the plate Chicago State is led by freshman infielder, Hunt Sanford, who leads the team with a .336 batting average and a .427 slugging percentage. Sanford has 15 RBI and tallied 48 thus far. His on base percentage is .374.
The Cougars have a 5.27 ERA on the season and have given up 470 hits on the season.
The Aggies have an all-time record of 4-0 against the Cougars. The last meeting between the two teams came in 2009.