BEAUMONT, Texas - The New Mexico State baseball team defeated Cal State-Northridge 6-5 at Vincent-Beck Stadium in Beaumont, Texas, Thursday, March 3 to open up the YMBL Cardinal Classic hosted by Lamar University.
Sophomore Parker Hipp misplayed a ball in the top of the ninth inning to allow the tying run to get aboard, but came through for his team in the bottom of the inning, hitting a game-winning RBI single up the middle to with the bases loaded. Hipp finished the day going 3-of-4 at the plate with two RBI, a run scored and a walk.
Stating pitcher Dan Reid worked hard on the mound for NM State against the Matadors going 6 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. He walked only two of the 31 batters he faced and allowed only three earned runs.
"Their kid did a good job on the mound and I know these teams are bringing their best guys at us," head coach Rocky Ward said. "The kind of plays that Voight made and the type of play Reid had on the mound is the type of play we need to win games. We made the right plays at the right time."
NM State now goes to 9-0 on the season, while CSNU falls to 5-4 on the year. The last time NM State started 9-0 was back in 2003. That year the Aggies finished 43-18 and made a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Junior third baseman Zachary Voight picked up the first hit of the tournament for NM State in the bottom of the first inning when he hit a single to right-centerfield and advanced to second on a single by sophomore second baseman Parker Hipp, although both were left on base. Voight finished the day going 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.
The Matadors scored the first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning on a single up the middle and added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Only one of those runs was earned as the Aggies committed a throwing error to allow a runner score from second.
After only three hits for NM State through four innings, the Aggies sparked life into the offense in the fifth inning. Junior Ryan Laing came into the game and earned a pinch-hit RBI on a sacrifice fly to centerfield and senior catcher Chuck Howard also picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly to left field. Howard's sacrifice fly tied the game 3-3, then shortstop Ryan Aguayo gave the Aggies their first lead when he hammered a double into centerfield picking up two RBI.
The Aggies held CSNU scoreless in the top of the sixth inning with Howard contributing to the cause as he prevented a runner from stealing a base when he threw out the Matador shortstop at second. It was only the second time this season anyone has attempted to steal a base on Howard and his first throw-out of the year.
After CSNU tied the game in the top of the ninth, Voight had a great defensive play at third base with a runner on third base, which potentially saved a run from crossing the plate. The Aggies looked to their offense in the bottom of the ninth and it started with a lead-off strike out started the inning, which was followed by an infield single by Howard. Outfielder Tanner Waite followed Howard with a single of his own and both runners advanced on a wild pitch by the Matador pitch.
The Aggies continue action in the YMBL Cardinal Classic when they face San Francisco at 12:00 p.m. (MT), Friday, March 4 at Vincent-Beck Stadium. Fans can follow the action with live stats at www.NMStateSports.com or on Twitter.com @NMStateAggies.