Aggies Open WAC Tournament on Thursday in Grand Prairie, Texas
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  05/20/2013

THIS WEEK: The New Mexico State baseball team heads to the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament this week playing at QuikTrip Park, in Grand Prairie, Texas.  The tournament starts, Wednesday, May 22, although NM State won’t start play until, Thursday, May 23.  The Aggies are the No. 6 seed in the tournament and open play against No. 3 seed Texas State, Thursday, May 23 at 10:00 a.m. (MT).  NM State faces No. 2 UT Arlington, Friday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m. (MT) before taking on No. 7 seed Dallas Baptist, Saturday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. (MT).  If the Aggies win their pool, they will play in the WAC Tournament Championship on Sunday, May 26 at 12:00 p.m. (MT).

TOURNMENT SEEDINGS/SCHEDULE: The tournament, which takes place at QuikTrip Ballpark May 22-26 in Grand Prairie, Texas, will feature the league's top eight teams from the regular season.

CSU Bakersfield earned the tournament's top seed and will play eighth-seeded San Jose State on Wednesday. UT Arlington will be the No. 2 seed and will take on No. 7 Dallas Baptist in Wednesday's night game. Texas State is the No. 3 seed, followed by UTSA (No. 4), Sacramento State (No. 5), New Mexico State (No. 6), Dallas Baptist (No. 7), and San Jose State (No. 8).

The tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 22 with No. 4 UTSA taking on No. 5 Sacramento State at 10:00 a.m. (MT). No. 1 CSU Bakersfield will play No. 8 San Jose State at 3 p.m., and No. 2 UT Arlington takes on No. 7 Dallas Baptist in the nightcap Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. (MT)

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: An eight team round-robin (pool play) tournament will be played to determine the WAC champion and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Teams are divided into two pools with seeds # 1, 4, 5, and 8 in Pool A and seeds # 2, 3, 6, and 7 in Pool B.  The teams with the best records in the two pools will compete for in the championship game on Sunday.  If more than one team is tied at the completion of round-robin play, the following tie-breaking procedure will be used:

Two teams tied:  The team that won the head-to-head competition in championship tournament games will advance.

Three-teams tied: The team with the highest seed in the respective bracket will advance.

MEDIA COVERAGE: New Mexico State baseball fans have at least three more opportunities to follow the Aggies on the radio on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces, N.M. The championship game on Sunday will also air over the radio waves if the Aggies make it.

Fans can listen to the WAC Tournament on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces or online from anywhere in the world at www.NMStateSports.com (for a fee). Game one is set for 10:00 a.m. (MT), Thursday, May 23 and game two is, Friday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m. (MT). The final game of Pool Play is Saturday, May 25 at  Live stats are available all season long by going to www.NMStateSports .com and clicking on the live events tab. Live stats are free of charge all season.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can keep up with score updates and other information by logging on to Twitter @NMStateAggies. Fans can find out about promotions and everything else Aggie by going on Facebook and searching for NMSU Athletics as well as The Aggie Student-Athlete.

ABOUT THE AGGIES: The Aggies head into the WAC Tournament as the No. 6 seed after finished the year 13-14 in league play and 28-26 overall.  NM State struggled towards the end of the year marking a 9-11 record in the last 20 games, 4-6 in the last 10 games and only 1-4 in the last five games.

NM State finished the year with a 20-10 home record, a 7-15 road record, while going 1-1 when playing at a neutral site.

The Aggies ended the regular season hitting .291 as a team with four Aggies (who average at least 2.5 at-bats/game) hitting .300 or better.  Junior Tanner Rust leads the team with a .387 batting average while senior Bobby Lecount is posting a .341 average on the year. Lecount, although, has a team-high 67 RBI on the year, which is also in the top ten nationally.

The Aggie pitching staff heads into the weekend with a 5.49 ERA. Senior Adam Mott has worked more innings than any other Aggie pitcher working 86.2 innings this year.  He also has a team-high 82 strikeouts this year. Senior lefty Ryan Beck has 80 K’s in 73.0 innings of work and is posting 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, which leads the WAC.

LOOKING BACK: Despite losing the series at Seattle U 2-1, NM State managed record-setting milestones in each of the three games. Falling in Friday’s series opener 15-2, senior Parker Hipp broke the school record for games played marking the 208thgame played at NM State. He surpassed Andre Champagne who played 207 games from 1995-98. The aggies came back for a 4-0 shutout over the Redhawks on Saturday and strikeout No. 300 for Ryan Beck on the mound. The weekend capped with a 7-6 loss to SU. The weekend finale included back-to-back home runs as senior Parker Hipp and Bobby Lecount, as well as a new appearances record (31) by senior hurler Evan Mott.

NM State finished the three-game series with 23 hits and three major milestones. Saturday’s 4-0 win over Seattle U marked the 500th win that head coach Rocky Ward has been a part of.  Although, 69 wins were officially credited to Gary Ward in 2001 and 2002, Rocky Ward program continues to show success as his team has over 175 wins in the past five years.

AGGIES IN WAC TOURNAMENT: The Aggies are 3-13 all-time in WAC Tournament games dating back to 2008.  NM State’s first game in the WAC Tournament was an 11-7 loss against Hawai’i during the 2008 touranment in Ruston, La.  The first win for the Aggies in the tournament was in 2009 where they won three consecutive games against Fresno State (7-4), Louisiana Tech (6-5) and San Jose State (10-9) in Honolulu, Hawai’i.  NM State welcomes many newcomers to the WAC Tournament this year but they do have history with San Jose State (1-0) and Sacramento State (0-1) in the postseason.


Year     Opponent                                             W/L                              Score

2008    Hawaii                                                  L                                  11-7

2008    Sacramento State                                L                                  8-5

2009    Fresno State                                        W                                 7-4

2009    Louisiana Tech                                     W                                 6-5

2009    San Jose State                                     W                                 10-9

2009    Fresno State (championship Rd.)         L                                  9-7

2009    Fresno State (championship Rd.)         L                                  5-3

2010    Hawaii                                                  L                                  13-7

2010    Nevada                                                 L                                  5-4

2011    Louisiana Tech                                     L                                  9-3

2011    Nevada                                                 L                                  15-4

2012    Fresno State                                        L                                  15-8

2012    Louisiana Tech                                     L                                  15-12

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT: The Aggies face Texas State (No. 3 seed), Thursday, May 23 at 10:00 a.m. (MT), UT Arlington (No. 2 seed), Friday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m. (MT) and Dallas Baptist, Saturday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. (MT).  NM State posted a combined record of 4-5 against the three Texas teams.

VERSUS TEXAS STATE: The Aggies went 1-2 against the Texas State Bobcats in their three-game series on March 22-24 at Presley Askew Field.  This year marked the first meeting between the Aggies and the Bobcats.

Game 1

The New Mexico State University baseball team opened up conference play on Friday, March 22, by overtaking Texas State 12-6 in game one of a three game series.

NM State welcomed Texas State into the Western Athletic Conference by piling up 12 runs to go up 1-0 in conference play and 13-10 overall.  The Bobcats move to 0-1 in the WAC and 14-7 overall.

Eight different Aggies earned at least one hit in the game, with six of those Aggies earning multiple hits.  Second baseman Kent Blackstone and center fielder Kyle Phillips each had three hits and one RBI in the game.  Catcher Tanner Rust and third baseman Robert Lecount tied for the game-high in RBI’s with three apiece.  Rust went 2-for-3 and with one walk and Lecount went 2-for-5.  Right fielder Michael Medina and left fielder Quinnton Mack each had two hits.

Game 2

The New Mexico State baseball team struggled offensively against Texas State losing 10-3 at Presley Askew Field, Saturday, March 23.

NM State starting pitcher senior Ryan Beck was credited with the loss as he allowed four earned runs in 4.1 innings of work.  Beck worked efficiently for the first three innings of the game marking three strikeouts in the second and retiring three straight batters in the third.  The Bobcat offense picked up Beck’s pitches in the fourth crossing the plate five times on five hits.

The Bobcat starter worked 7.0 innings and tallied seven K’s as he allowed three runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh.  Junior Quinnton Mack, senior Kyle Phillips and freshman Derek Umphres each marked an RBI that inning. Phillips lead the Aggies going 2-of-3 with one run scored.

Game 3

The New Mexico State baseball team lost a two-run lead falling in the series finale, 12-7 to Texas State at Presley Askew Field, Sunday, March 24.

Seniors Bobby Lecount and Kyle Phillips tried to boost the Aggie offense as each hammered a home run over the leftfield wall.  Lecount blasted his home run in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2, while Phillips hit a three-run shot in the third helping his team to go up 7-5.

Although the NM State defense that struggled posting three errors on the afternoon with a big one coming in the top of the second, it was the Aggie offense that died out in the latter part of the game as no hits were recorded from the fifth inning through the ninth inning.

VERSUS UT ARLINGTON: The NM State baseball team went 1-2 against UT-Arlington in their three-game series on April 26-28 at Presley Askew Field.  The Aggies sit at 2-4 all-time against the Mavericks heading into the WAC Baseball Tournament.

Game 1

The New Mexico State baseball team dropped its series opener versus UT-Arlington, 9-5, Friday night at Presley Askew Field.

NM State equaled Arlington with 10 hits and had only one error to the Maverick’s two.  But while Arlington capitalized on its scoring chances with timely hits, the Aggies struggled with men on base, finishing with a total of nine runners left on base.

On the mound, Aggie right-hander Adam Mott suffered his fourth loss of the season after putting in over six innings of work.

After trailing 9-1, the Aggies mounted a valiant comeback in the eighth inning.  NM State designated hitter Parker Hipp started off the inning by drawing a walk.  Third baseman Robert Lecount then proceeded to slam a double down the left-field line to put two Aggies in scoring position.  Hipp would score on a throwing error by Maverick second baseman Darien McLemore that also allowed NM State first baseman Michael Paulson to reach first safely.  A little dribbler to the pitcher by Aggie center fielder Kyle Phillips would score Lecount.  After a single by Mack, second baseman Jory Goldstrom hit an RBI single up the middle to score Paulson.  Mack would later score off a ground out by Medina, giving Medina his second RBI of the game.

The four-run eighth for NM State cut the Maverick lead in half.  Unfortunately for the Aggies, that would be as close as they would get as Arlington reliever Chase Weaver retired NM State in order in the final inning, ending the game at 9-5.

Game 2

The New Mexico State baseball team bounced back and run-ruled UT- Arlington 11-1 in seven innings at Presley Askew Field, Saturday, April 27.

Senior starter Ryan Beck threw a complete-game three hitter as he allowed just one run to go along with eight strikeouts.

The Aggie offense got off the a great start, posting four runs in the first inning, which included a three-run home run over the left-centerfield wall from senior Bobby Lecount.  He finished the evening going 2-of-5 at the dish with five RBIs and a double.

NM State blew the game open in the fifth inning with freshman Kent Blackstone starting the inning with a lead-off walk and a stolen base before scoring.  Rust finished the four-run sixth with a two-RBI single up the middle.  The Aggies went into the seventh with an 11-1 lead as the Mavericks went down 1-2-3 in the inning.

Game 3

The New Mexico State baseball team lost an offensive battle to UT-Arlington, 13-11, on Sunday, April 28, at Presley Askew Field.  The team’s combined 24 runs came on a combined 32 hits, 18 for Arlington and 14 for NM State.

The top third of the Aggie lineup, right fielder Michael Medina, left fielder Quinnton Mack and catcher Tanner Rust, each went 2-for-4 on the afternoon.  Senior center fielder Kyle Phillips also went 2-for-4, including hitting his fifth home run of the season and his second triple.  Phillips also scored three runs for NM State.

Starting pitcher Christopher Bradley went 2.1 innings while allowing only two hits and striking out three Mavericks.  Unfortunately, Bradley had some trouble with his control as he allowed five walks and Arlington’s first four runs.

NM State reliever Casey Collins, who came into the game after senior right-hander Michael Ormseth had relieved Bradley, was saddled with the loss after pitching 1.2 innings and allowing three runs.  Collins fell to 4-5 on the season. 

Perhaps the best showing by an Aggie pitcher on Sunday was by senior Evan Mott.  The right-hander pitched the final three innings for NM State, allowing only one run and striking out a game-high four batters.

The Aggies jumped out to an early 4-0 lead during the bottom half of the second inning.  After junior second baseman Jory Goldstrom reached on a single and Phillips reached on an error, NM State first baseman Joseph Koerper hit a shot up the right-center alley that bounced around along the fencing, giving Koerper a two-RBI triple.

The Aggies would add a couple more runs in the fourth off of one hit, one hit batsman and a couple of Maverick errors to go up 7-4 after four innings.  Unfortunately for NM State, that would be the last time it would see the lead in the ball game.

The Aggies added one more run in the eighth off an RBI single by Lecount that brought in Mack, who had also singled to lead off the inning.  Down two heading into the ninth, NM State could get no closer as Maverick reliever Daniel Milliman put down the Aggies in order for his first save of the season, ending the game at 13-11.

VERSUS DALLAS BAPTIST: The NM State baseball team entered the season 0-5 all-time against Dallas Baptist with their last meeting coming back in 2007.  The Aggies, however, went 2-1 this year and head into the tournament 2-6 all-time against the Patriots.

Game 1

The New Mexico State baseball team defeated Dallas Baptist 16-5 in seven innings at Presley Askew Field, Friday, April 5.

The Aggies scored 16 runs on 15 hits with senior Bobby Lecount leading the offense going 2-of-3 at the dish with a home run and five RBIs.  Senior shortstop Parker Hipp also had a good night with the bat as he finished the evening going 2-of-4 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored.

After the Aggies took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second, DBU regained the lead off a triple.  NM State was down 4-3 before scoring nine runs on six hits.  The offensive explosion started with a lead-off Hipp home run of the right field wall to tie the game at 4-4. It was Hipp’s sixth homer of the year.  A fielder’s choice by Jory Goldstrom gave the Aggies a 5-4 lead before the Aggies scored seven more runs.  Lecount hit a three-run shot later in the inning giving him eight bombs on the year.

The Patriots were held scoreless in the top of the fourth with NM State scoring four more runs in the bottom of the inning.  DBU scored a run in the top of the seventh but that would not be enough as the Aggies ended the game with left-hand pitcher Robert Kraft forcing the final Patriot batter to fly-out to center.

Game 2

The New Mexico State baseball team clinches a three-game Western Athletic Conference series after defeating Dallas Baptist 7-5 at Presley Askew Field, Saturday, April 6.

The Aggies started the game off on fire offensively posting five runs on five hits in the bottom of the first.  Senior Parker Hipp and senior Bobby Lecount tallied RBI doubles before junior Michael Paulson and senior Kyle Phillips followed with a home run each.

The Dallas Baptist offense answered back scoring two runs in the second and three solo home runs in the third to tie the game at 5-5.

Senior right-hander Casey Collins entered the game in the top of the third and worked 5.1 innings without giving up a single run to pick up the win.  He is now 4-3 on the year in 42.2 innings of work.  Senior reliever Evan Mott tallied his first save of the season after he came into the game in the ninth inning and struck out three of the four batters he faced.  Mott entered the game with two runners on but fought through it to help the Aggies pick up the win.

The final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the seventh after the first two Aggie batters got on board with walks.  Lecount posted the go-ahead RBI single before an RBI single by Paulson took the score to 7-5.

Game 3

The New Mexico State baseball team fell short on a comeback attempt losing 12-10 in 10 innings to Dallas Baptist at Presley Askew Field, Sunday, April 7.

NM State was down 9-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth but tallied six runs in the inning.  The Aggies sent 12 batters to the plate in the fourth marking seven walks and six runs on two hits.  DBU stopped the Aggie rally as the NM State offense left the bases loaded with the score at 9-6.

After a Patriot run in the top of the eighth took the score to 10-7, NM State crossed the plate three times off four hits and two errors in the bottom of the inning.  The Aggies had a chance to pick up the win in the bottom of the ninth inning with bases loaded and no outs, but three consecutive Aggie batters went down swining. DBU then took advantage of the momentum shift and hit a two-run shot in the top of the 10th to take a 12-10 lead before the Aggies left two runners aboard in the bottom of the inning.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior Tanner Rust continues his consistent and dominant play as the Aggies head into the postseason.  Rust is in the top three in five WAC rankings, including leading the WAC in batting average (.387) and on base percentage (.481).  He leads the team with 24 multiple hit games this season including 10 three-hit games.  Rust also has 14 multiple RBI games this season including two four-RBI games and one five-plus RBI game.  Since starting conference play Rust is hitting .375 with 39 hits including six doubles, two triples and a home run.

Senior relief pitcher Evan Mott appeared in his 31st game this season against Seattle U and became NM State’s all-time leader in appearances in a season passing Orlando Griego and Scott Coffman.  Mott has been reliable as a reliever this season pitching 46.0 innings and maintaining a 2.93 ERA.  Mott has greatly improved over his 2012 season where he pitched 21.1 innings and had an ERA of 10.55.  This season, Mott has earned three saves while striking out 62 batters, which is third best on the team.  In conference play, Mott’s ERA drops to 2.33 with 36 strikeouts in 27.0 innings pitched.  Mott has also held WAC opponents to a .255 batting average.

OPENING GAME STARTER: Senior starting pitcher Adam Mott will take the mound for the Aggies on Thursday, May 23, against the Texas State Bobcats in the first game of the 2013 WAC Baseball Tournament.

Mott has earned six wins in 13 starts this season.  He has pitched 86.2 innings and struck out 82 batters and leads the Aggies in both categories.  Against WAC opponents, Mott has earned four wins and struck out 52 batters in 52.2 innings of work and leads Aggie pitchers in these categories.

Mott made the first start for the Aggies when they played Texas State for the first time ever on March 22, at Presley Askew Field.  Mott pitched 6.1 innings and struck out seven Bobcat batters in a 12-6 winning effort. 

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