GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The New Mexico State baseball team ended the Western Athletic Conference Tournament losing streak defeating No. 2 seed UT Arlington 4-3 in QuikTrip Park, Friday, May 24. The Aggie lost nine straight WAC Tournament games dating back to 2009 when the tournament was held in Honolulu.
The Aggies are now 29-27 on the year after senior Ryan Beck picked up the win working 7.2 innings to hold off UTA. Senior right-hander Evan Mott, a second team all-WAC selection, finished the game working 1.1 innings and striking two Mavericks. Beck is now 8-4 this season while Mott now has four saves.
“I would have liked to see more from our offense today, but it is great to get this win, especially for seniors like Beck and Hipp who have been with us for the past four years,” head coach Rocky Ward said. “Now we have to take care of business tomorrow and hope that UTA also gets a win.”
The Aggies need only four hits on the afternoon, which included a solo home run by senior Kyle Phillips in the top of the sixth to give NM State the cushion it needed to win. Philips concluded the game going 2-of-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
“Phillips must have squared the ball up and it the heck out of it because it was difficult for anyone to get it out of the yard today,” Ward said. “Lecount squared one up earlier in the game but it just didn’t go anywhere.”
The No. 6 seeded Aggies took advantage of control issues from UTA starter Zach Thompson, who walked five in 3.2 innings. Thompson helped to load the bases in the bottom of the fourth on two walks and a bunt single. A wild pitch from Thompson and throwing error by the UTA catcher allowed two runs to score. New Mexico State made it 3-0 on a double-play ball that scored Phillips from third.
Beck was able to get out of a couple of jams, including one in the seventh with two runners aboard. UTA left a total of 10 runners on base while committing two errors, with the costly error coming in the fourth.
NM State faces No. 7 seed Dallas Baptist, Saturday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. (MT) and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 or online at www.NMStateSports.com. The Aggies went 2-1 this year and head into tomorrow’s game 2-6 all-time against the Patriots.
The Aggies need to defeat Dallas Baptist tomorrow and also need UT Arlington to defeat Texas State to reach the championship game on Sunday.
WAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY:
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* L 9-7
2009 Fresno State* 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
2013 Texas State L 9-4
2013 UT Arlington W 4-3