LAS CRUCES, N.M. (April 14) – The New Mexico State baseball team lost the third game of its weekend series against Sacramento State on Sunday afternoon at Presley Askew Field, 6-4. The Aggies fall to 19-17 on the season and 5-7 in WAC play. The Hornets improve to 21-15 and 7-5 in the WAC.
NM State took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning after junior catcher Tanner Rust hit his fifth home run of the season, a two-run blast off of Hornet starting pitcher Zach Morgan.
After Sacramento State tied the game at two in the top half of the fourth, the Aggies regained the lead in the bottom half of the frame off a home run by freshman second baseman Kent Blackstone. The solo shot was Blackstone’s second home run of the season and gave NM State a 5-4 lead midway through the game.
NM State starting pitcher Ryan Beck pitched six strong innings for the Aggies, allowing seven hits while also striking out seven batters. After allowing the first two runners to reach in the top of the seventh, however, Beck was relieved by senior right-hander Evan Mott.
Mott proceeded to juggle a sacrifice bunt attempt by Hornet second baseman Andrew Ayers to load the bases. Sacramento State rightfielder Nathan Lukes then came up and scorched the decisive hit of the game, a triple down the right-field line to empty the bases and give the Hornets a 6-3 lead.
That would be the last hit Mott would give up as he would retire the final nine batters he faced. The Aggies, however, could not overcome the four-run seventh inning for the Hornets.
NM State would add one more run in the bottom half of the seventh off an RBI single from shortstop Parker Hipp, but could not come any closer, going out in order in the final two innings.
The Aggies now look forward to stepping out of conference play and head up to Albuquerque for a single game versus in-state rival New Mexico this coming Wednesday, April 17.