MESA, Ariz. - The New Mexico State baseball team lost a heartbreaker to Nevada 5-4 after a two-run walk-off homer in an elimination game at the 2010 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon inside Hohokam Stadium.
Nevada freshman Cullen Mahoney, a local Phoenix native, ripped a two-run home over the right field wall run in the bottom of the ninth with one out to cap off a three-run rally in the last at-bat for the Wolf Pack.
Senior Nate Shaver delivered again for the Aggie offense with two hits in four at-bats with an RBI and run scored. Classmate Ben Harty punched two hits and brought a pair of runners across the plate.
The loss eliminates the second-seeded Aggies from the tournament as NM State finishes the year at 36-23-1.With the win, third-seeded Nevada improves to 36-21-1 on the year.
Freshman left-hander Ryan Beck started on the mound for the Aggies while junior left-hander Brock Stassi made the start for the Wolf Pack.
NM State junior left fielder Chace Perkins started the scoring in the top of the second with a solo home run over the 340 mark down the left field line to give the Aggies an early 1-0 lead.
The Aggies padded their lead in the top of the third. Senior Nate Shaver continued his spectacular weekend with a single to left center to begin the frame. After two outs, classmate Ben Harty hit a bloop single down the right field line. Shaver scored from first in a full out sprint around the bases to easily beat the throw from the Nevada right fielder to put NM State up 2-0.
Junior Joel Cardinal started an NM State rally in the top of the fifth with a double to right center. Shaver stayed perfect on the day with a single near the same spot to score Cardinal from second and increase the Aggie lead to 3-0 midway through the fifth frame.
Nevada got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Nick Melino got aboard with a one-out single to left field. Junior Nick Leid followed with a single through the left side to chase Beck from the game.
Aggie right-handed pitcher Scott Coffman took over for Beck with runners on first and second and one down.
Wolf Pack sophomore Garrett Yrigoyen singled to center field to score Melino. A sacrifice fly by freshman Carlos Escobar Jr. allowed Leid to come across the plate to cut the Aggie lead to 3-2 after six.
Both runs were credited to Beck. As a result, the Aggie starter left the mound after five and one-third innings, allowing two runs on five hits while fanning four. Coffman took over for Beck but didn't stay on the mound long as Aggie senior right-hander Daniel Reyes came in to get the final out of the seventh.
In the top of the eighth, NM State added another run. Senior Mike Sodders made his tournament debut at the plate and drew a six-pitch walk with one out on the board. Classmate Kyle Decater came on to pinch run for Sodders.
Nevada made a pitching change as Stassi was replaced by senior right-hander Tyler Graham with one out and a runner on first. Harty came up big again with a double to deep center field at the wall that allowed Decater to score from first base to push the Aggie advantage to 4-2.
Senior right handed pitcher Steven Anderson came in to pitch for the Aggies in the eighth inning to help retire the side.
The Aggies threatened to score but left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth.
Nevada took advantage opening with a ground-rule double by Escobar to start its half of the ninth. Junior Waylen Sing Chow followed with a single to right field to put runners on the corners. The Aggies posted one out after a fielder's choice to allow senior Kevin Rodland to reach first as Escobar scored from third to cut the NM State lead to 4-3 before Mahoney's home run ended the game.
Graham earned the win for Nevada to improve to 4-5. Anderson suffered the loss for the Aggies to drop to 2-2.
Click NMStateSports.com for all of the latest baseball news.