SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Senior left hand pitcher Ryan Beck tallied seven strikeouts on the afternoon and New Mexico State attempted a ninth inning comeback but fell short losing 6-5 to UTSA in game two of the three-game Western Athletic Conference series at Roadrunner Field in San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, May 11.
NM State trailed 5-0 heading to the fifth but the Aggies showed a never-say-die attitude losing by just one run. The Aggies are now 5-3 in one-run games and continue to struggle in away-games holding a 6-13 record on the road.
The first two Aggie batters of the ninth inning blasted ground-balls to the UTSA first baseman, which were scored as errors, before the tying run and go-ahead run got on base with singles. Senior Parker Hipp then hit the ball deep to right-field but the wind knocked the ball down for the UTSA outfielder to make the out. Another fly-out to centerfield ended the NM State comeback attempt and the game.
“Parker hit the ball as well as he could but the wind really held it up and gave the outfielder enough time to get under it,” head coach Rocky Ward said. “We had good at-bats at the end of the game and had a chance but just couldn’t pull it off. Overall it was a well-played game and I am proud of my guys and the effort they gave.”
Beck was credited with the loss and falls to 7-4 on the year. He now has 77 strikeouts, which is second-best on the NM State pitching staff, and 299 K’s on his NM State career. With one more strikeout, Beck will become only the second player to throw at least 300 strikeouts at NM State.
The Aggies fall to 27-23 this year and 12-11 in WAC play after marking five runs on six hits without committing an error. UTSA moves to 27-22 and is now 11-11 in league play, just a half-game behind NM State in the conference standings.
UTSA was the first team to get on the board after scoring a run in the bottom of the first on a single through the right-side of the field taking a 1-0 lead. Neither team scored in the second or third innings but the Aggies picked up their first hit of the game in the third on a single by junior Tanner Rust. He finished the day as the only Aggie with multiple hits as he went 2-of-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.
The Aggies allowed four UTSA runs to score in the bottom of the fourth on four hits and a walk to fall behind 5-0. NM State was also credited with a wild pitch in the inning and a Roadrunner hitter tallied a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third in the same inning.
A sacrifice fly by junior Michael Medina in the top of the fifth got NM State on the board trailing 5-1. Eight out of nine Aggie batters were retired from the fifth inning through the eighth before the comeback attempt started. Senior reliever Evan Mott came in to work an inning striking out two of the three batters he faced while not allowing a run to score.
The three-game WAC series between NM State and Roadrunners wraps up at 12:00 p.m. (MT), Sunday, May 12. Fans can listen to the action live in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 or online at www.NMStateSports.com. Las Cruces native Michael Ormseth is scheduled to get the start on the mound for the Aggies and he is 3-3 on the year.