HOUSTON, Texas - The New Mexico State baseball team falls to 3-2 on the year after dropping the first of a two-game series 7-5 against No. 5 Rice at Reckling Park, Tuesday, Feb. 21.
NM State tallied its five runs on 12 hits and committed two errors, while the Owls scored its seven runs on 14 hits and didn't commit an error. The Aggies battled throughout the game and kept it close as junior right-hand pitcher Ryan Beck came in during the fourth and held the Owls scoreless.
"If we would have played cleanly defensively I think we would have won the game," head coach Rocky Ward said. "We had a great outing from Beck and Tyler Mack wasn't bad as a starter. We just need to give our pitchers a bit more support."
Mack was credited with the loss after throwing three complete innings and allowing four earned runs. Beck threw for four and a third innings and struck out four batters, while giving up only one walk and no runs.
The Aggie offense struck first with a home run in the top of the first from senior shortstop Zach Voight. The Owls answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but NM State tied it up in the top of the second on an RBI single by senior outfielder Bryan Karraker.
NM State had a couple of miscues in the bottom of the second and the Owls took advantage of that scoring two more runs to take a 4-2 lead. The Aggies tied the game again in the top of the third off a sacrifice fly RBI from junior second baseman Parker Hipp and a ground-out RBI from junior catcher Zac Fisher. Rice scored two more runs in the bottom of the third and another in the fourth to go up 7-4.
Both teams were scoreless until senior Andy Lyon came up with an RBI single in the seventh.
The Aggies take on No. 5 Rice in game two of the series, Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 3:30pm. Fans can listen to the action on a tape delay in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 at 6pm (MT).