LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State baseball team (25-9, 2-1 WAC) trailed the Wolf Pack (16-14, 1-2 WAC) for 8 ½ innings before winning 7-6 when the Nevada second baseman threw the ball away to allow the winning score to cross the plate, Saturday, April 7 at Presley Askew Field.
Down 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, NM State tallied three unearned runs to win its 25th game of the season and move to 2-1 in Western Athletic Conference play. After senior lead-off hitter Tanner Waite lined out to the Nevada shortstop, senior right fielder Bryan Karraker got on with a walk as he took the count to 3-2. Junior second baseman Parker Hipp reached base on an error by the Wolf Pack first baseman, which moved Karraker over the third, putting him in position to score on a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Zach Voight.
"Our guys just kept battling and we were able to put ourselves in a position to win the game," head coach Rocky Ward said.
After Hipp scored on a single thru the right side by WAC-RBI leader Zac Fisher, junior Ethan Chavez entered the game as a pinch runner. Chavez moved into scoring position on a balk by the Nevada closer and scored when the Wolf Pack second baseman threw the ball past the first baseman.
"We usually score runs late in games so we weren't too worried," Fisher said.
Fisher was only 1-of-5 on the afternoon, but his one hit counted just as much, if not more, as the other eight hits NM State posted on the day. Voight had the best day on the Aggie offense as he was 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI.
Senior closer Scott Coffman earned his first win of the season as he was in the game when NM State took the lead. He is now 1-1 on the year after working an inning without giving up a run. Starting pitcher, junior Casey Collins, went 4.1 innings with three strikeouts although he gave up six walks and three runs.
Neither team scored during the first three innings of the game, but Nevada broke the scoring drought by crossing the plate on an RBI single by the nine-hole hitter who ended the day going 2-of-3 with four RBI. It seemed the ballgame was getting away from the Aggies when Nevada took a 5-0 lead after 5 ½ innings of play but NM State scored on an RBI double by Voight in the bottom of the sixth.
After Nevada scored on a solo home run in the top of the seventh, the Aggies started their comeback scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh. All three of the runs that crossed the plate in the seventh for NM State reached base courtesy of walks by the Nevada pitcher (Elliot Van Gaver).
The Aggies tallied seven walks on the afternoon and Nevada walked eight times, but the Wolf Pack left 11 runners on base and NM State scored at critical points in the game.
The Aggies continue WAC play as they head to Sacramento, Calif., to face Sacramento State with the first game of the series starting, Friday, April 13 at 3pm (MT).