TUCSON - The New Mexico State baseball team extended its winning streak to eight games after defeating No. 5 Arizona, 13-8 at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz., Wednesday, March 21. This marks only the seventh victory over the Wildcats in program history after sweeping them in the midweek series.
Senior catcher Zac Fisher led the Aggies going 4-of-6 on the day with four RBI. Two of his RBI came in the sixth inning on a bloop-single to left field, extending the NM State lead to 12-6.
"We came in here knowing that we had to play our best and try to grind out some wins. Getting two wins here is really big for us," Fisher said. "He (Assistant Volunteer Coach Nate Shaver) did well for us. He is a fighter and I was lucky enough to play with him as a freshman."
Shaver had to act as the Aggies' head coach after Rocky Ward stayed in Las Cruces due to his mother being ill. Coach Ward and assistant coach Gary Ward are with Mrs. Ward and are hopeful to be back in the dugout this weekend.
The Aggies jumped out to a 7-1 lead after scoring three runs in the first, two in the second and two in the third. A triple by senior shortstop Zach Voight in the top of the first got the Aggie bats started, while the NM State pitching staff kept the pressure on the Wildcats.
"Ryan Beck went out and did what he normally does," Shaver said. "I told the guys that we needed to get out and work and they did just that."
Beck finished the game throwing four innings, picking up four strikeouts but was given a no-decision because he did not go the required five innings to earn a win. Junior right-hand reliever Randy Montoya earned his first win of the season, just days after earning his first career save, going one inning without allowing a run.
After the Aggies crossed the plate once in the top of the fifth on an RBI walk by Voight, Arizona made a push scoring five runs in the bottom of the inning to make it an 8-6 ballgame. NM State answered scoring four runs in the top of the sixth while reaching base on four walks and two hit batsmen. The Aggies, who came into this series leading the nation in walks, tallied nine walks in the game while being hit by a pitch three times.
Senior Tanner Waite, who ended his day with a hit and two RBI, added the insurance run in the top of the seventh on a fielder's choice.
The Aggies take on Texas-Pan American in a four-game series starting, Friday, March 23 at 3:05pm (MT). That game is scheduled to air over the radio waves on KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews giving the play-by-play action.