THIS WEEK: The New Mexico State baseball team returns home for a four-game against La Salle with the first game of the series, Friday, March 8 at 6:05 p.m. (MT). Saturday features a doubleheader starting at 3:05 p.m., while the series finale is scheduled for Sunday, March 10 with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m.
MEDIA COVERAGE: NM State baseball fans will have plenty of opportunities to follow their Aggies on the radio again this season with the voice of Aggie baseball, Jeff Matthews on KSNM AM 570. The Aggies are scheduled to broadcast 34 baseball games this season, plus any in the post season.
Friday's game and Sunday's games against the Explorers are set to air on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews, although Friday's is subject to change. Fans can also listen to those two games live on the Internet by clicking on the live events link on www.NMStateSports.com for a small fee.
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.
TICKETS: Fans can call the Pan American Center ticket office or call (575) 646-1420 to purchase tickets ahead of time or walk up to the ticket booth at Presley Askew Field to buy tickets the day of the game.
Season tickets for baseball are $49 for adults, $44 for NM State faculty and staff and $44 for senior citizens. There is also a partial season-ticket package that includes 19 for only $29. Single game tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 per ticket with groups of ten or more. Children 12-and-under can enter the games for free, while NM State students also get in free.
PROMOTIONS: Fans can purchase ice cream during Friday's game for only 50-cents. Saturday will be Western Night with the NM State Equestrian Team giving free horse rides. Sunday's game is 50-cent hot dog day.
ABOUT THE AGGIES: The Aggies head into this week's play with a 4-8 overall record after going 3-6 during the month of February. The Aggies are 2-2 at home as they opened the season splitting a four-game series with Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
NM State then went on an eight-game road trip that started with the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. The Aggies went 1-2 in that tournament, shutting out Ohio, 7-0 and falling to Illinois, 3-2 and East Carolina 5-1. NM State then traveled to Raleigh, N.C. where it faced No. 10 NC State and fell in both games play. The Aggies played Wake Forest in a three-game series, dropping the first two games before bouncing back to shutout the Demon Deacons in the series finale.
The Aggies are struggling offensively early on the year hitting .216 as a team. Senior Bobby LeCount leads the way hitting .316 on the year with two doubles, 11 walks and nine RBI. In what seems to be a very strange offensive start to the year, there is not a single Aggie with 10 or more RBI while the team is being out-hit 83-124.
The NM State starting pitchers have been doing what they were expected to do with three of the four starters marking at least 10 strikeouts each. Senior right-hander Adam Mott leads the Aggie pitching staff with a 3.48 ERA and has the highest number of strikeouts with 16.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
La Salle: The Explorers are 2-6 overall this season. They are coached by Mike Lake. La Salle's Kevin Baron leads the team with a batting average of .478, a slugging percentage of .522 and an on base percentage of .538. In pitching, Austin Clark pitched 10.2 innings with an ERA of 3.38, seven strikeouts and a 0-1 record.
NM State is 4-0 all-time versus La Salle facing the Explorers in a four-game series in 2003.
TAKE YOUR BASE: The Aggies have drawn 79 walks so far this season, compared to their opponents marking only 62. NM State ranks third nationally in walks behind Central Arkansas (104) and Mercer (89). Individually, Parker Hipp and Bobby Lecount are ranked 31st nationally with 11 walks each.
Last season the Aggies were ranked second in the nation with 347 walks. Tanner Waite led the nation in walks with 69 and Parker Hipp also walked 57 times and was ranked sixth in the nation.
RECORD WATCH: Senior Parker Hipp is close to putting his name at the top of the NM State record books in multiple categories. Early into the season, Hipp is 37 games away from leading the games played career record (207 by Adre Champagne, 1995-98).
Hipp is currently No. 9 on the all-time hits list with 208 on his career and needs 52 more to catch the leader (Henry Apodaca, 1978-81). Hipp can also break the career-record for runs (192 by Chris Fanning, 1988-91) if he crosses the plate 45 more times. He currently has 147 runs scored on his career and needs three more to enter the top 10.
Hipp has 159 singles during his Aggie career, surpassing Leo Aguirre (2007-10) for the No. 7 spot on the all-time singles list. He need to post 45 more singles to catch the record holder (Henry Apodaca, 1978-81). Hipp also needs 14 doubles for the career record.
He currently has 130 walks on his career and needs 12 more to catch record holder Richard Stout, who posted 142 from 2007-09. He is only seven sacrifice flies from breaking that career record and 59 RBI from becoming the leader in all-time RBI. Former Aggie great Billy Becher holds the record for RBI with 208 from 2003-04.
Senior pitcher Ryan Beck has 237 strikeouts in his career and needs 84 to catch record-holder Gary Goldsmith (1990-93). He is currently No. 5 on the all-time list as he just surpassed former Aggie Jason Conner who finished his career with 235 K's.
LOOKING BACK: In the first series of the week, the Aggies fell in both games, Feb. 27-28, against No. 10 North Carolina State on Doak Field in Raleigh, N.C. NM State lost 9-2 in the first game, while falling 8-3 in the second. NM State also lost the weekend series, March 1-3, against Wake Forest 2-1. In the first game, the Aggies fell 6-1, followed by a 14-1 loss on Saturday and a 4-0 win on Sunday. Sunday's win was lead by senior Ryan Beck, who started as pitcher for his first game of the season and went for six innings. Beck struck out seven batters and did not give up any walks. Senior Casey Collins earned his first save of his career that game, entering in the seventh and striking out two.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Aggies head out on the for a two-game series with Oklahoma, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12-13 before returning home for a four-game series with Alabama A&M, March 15-17. Both games versus the Sooners are on the radio (KSNM AM 570) and the games on Friday and Sunday against Alabama A&M will also air over the radio waves.
WAC PRESEASON POLL: New Mexico State baseball was selected to finish third in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference regular season, in the coaches' preseason poll behind Dallas Baptist and Texas State, the WAC announced.
The Aggies received 60 points in the voting that was done by the 10 WAC baseball coaches after a 35-24 season (11-7 WAC), which resulted in the 2012 WAC regular season co-champion title and an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Dallas Baptist, who joined the WAC this year, was picked to win the league with 80 points and eight first place votes after a 41-19 season. Surpassing the Aggies for the second spot is Texas State who received 65 points and one first place vote.
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Senior short stop Parker Hipp of the New Mexico State baseball team was recently named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American baseball team, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Hipp was a third team selection after hitting .349 with 51 runs scored and 49 RBI last year. He was first on the team in on-base percentage (.488) as he helped the Aggies win a share of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference title.
Hipp also posted 17 doubles, one triple and one home run on the year while he led the team defensively with 148 assists. The middle-infielder was also in on the most double-plays (30) in 2012 as he finished the year making nice plays in the Aggies' NCAA Tournament appearance. Hipp was a second team All-WAC selection last year as he hit .328 (21-of-64) in league play with four doubles and 17 RBI.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS PRESEASON TEAMS: CollegeSportsMadness.com recently announced its baseball preseason all-conference teams and All-American teams with New Mexico State well represented. Senior right-hand pitcher Adam Mott and senior short stop Parker Hipp were named first team members on the preseason team, while infielder Tanner Rust and outfielder Kyle Phillips earned second team honors.
Parker Hipp earned CollegeSportsMadness.com All-American honors as he was named to the fourth team.