LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State baseball team won the weekend series opener against Hawai’i 7-5 off three Aggie home runs at Presley Askew Field, Thursday, May 08.
NMSU got a homer from seniors Joseph Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) and Joe Leghorn (Victoria, B.C.) as well as one from junior Franky Busani (Mesa, Ariz.), as the Aggies scored seven runs on eight hits and committed only one error. UH scored five runs on 12 hits and committed two errors.
Junior Tyler Sturdevant (Littleton, Colo.) struggled in the first as he gave up the Rainbows’ five runs, but settled down and domintated them the rest of the game to pick up his fifth win of the year on 126 pitches thrown. In the eight innings of work, Sturdevant struck out six of the 36 UH batters he faced and walked only two.
Junior Erik Nyquist (Fairfield, Calif.) came into the game in the top of the ninth to close it out and earn his sixth save of the year, which puts him in second for the most saves in a season. He is three saves behind Orlando Griego, who set the record at nine in 1989.
The Aggies fell behind early as UH put up their only runs of the game in the first to take a 5-0 lead.
NMSU showed what they are made of as catcher Joe Leghorn (Victoria, B.C.) came up to the plate with two on and two outs in the bottom of the fourth and hit his sixth home run of the season to cut the Rainbow lead to 5-3.
In the fifth, Joseph Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) hit a two run shot over the left-centerfield wall tie the game up at five runs a piece. With that home run, Scaperotta continues to lead the WAC with 19.
Franky Busani (Mesa, Ariz.) hit the go ahead home run that brought in two runs and gave NMSU a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth. It was Busani’s 14th bomb of the season, which is second most in the WAC, behind Scaperotta.
During the game, UH left nine runners on base, which included the seventh inning where it left the bases loaded.
Bryan Marquez (Bonny Lake, Wash.) had a big defensive night for NMSU as he came up with eight assists, which involved him helping with the 4-3 put out three times in the fourth and in the eighth.
NMSU will continue its series against conference for Hawai’i at Presley Askew Field, Friday, May 9 with game time set for 6:05 p.m. (MDT). The game will be broadcast on the radio at KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews giving the play-by-play action.