ALBUQUERQUE – Third baseman Derek Umphres hit a two-run home run in the top of the first but the New Mexico State baseball team fell 17-7 to its Rio Grande Rival, New Mexico at Lobo Field in Albuquerque, N.M., Wednesday, April 2. The Aggies fall to 10-18 overall and UNM moves to 20-10-1 on the year.
The Aggies used 11 pitchers on the night and junior right-hand pitcher Matt Stein was credited with the loss as he gave up five runs in the fifth. UNM used five pitchers against the Aggies and Kevin Baumgartner earned the win after working 1.2 innings.
It looked like it was going to be a good evening for the Aggies as they opened up scoring three runs on one hit, a walk and a hit-batter. Senior right fielder Michael Medina started the game with a lead-off walk and that was followed by shortstop Kent Blackstone being hit by a pitch. After moving to third on a fielder’s choice, Medina crossed the plate when first baseman Kristoffer Koerper grounded out for an RBI. Umphres then blasted his third home run of the season over the left-centerfield wall. His home run flew at least 420 feet.
The Lobos responded by scoring a run in the bottom of the first and tied the game at 3-3 scoring two runs on two hits in the bottom of the third. The Aggies regained the lead crossing the plate three times on two hits in the fifth as Umphres picked up another RBI in the inning as he finished the night going 3-of-5 with three RBI and one run scored.
NM State struggled to hold off the Lobos in the bottom of the fifth with UNM taking advantage of some Aggie mistakes to score nine runs, taking a 12-6 lead. The Aggies allow four hits and committed two errors, including a throwing error that allowed two runs to score. The Aggies showed some life in the top of the sixth with catcher Taylor Noyer blasted a lead-off home run to make it a 12-7 ballgame, but four runs by the Lobos in the bottom of the inning extended the rival’s lead to 16-7. A Lobo single in the bottom of the seventh made the score 17-7 as neither team crossed the plate again.
The Aggies left 15 runners stranded and committed four errors while UNM committed one error and left 10 runners aboard. NM State walked nine batters compared to the Lobos walked only three.
NM State heads to Greeley, Colo. to face Northern Colorado in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series, starting Friday, April 4 at 3 p.m. (MT).