TUCSON, Ariz. - The New Mexico State baseball team fell 6-2 to Missouri in an elimination game of the NCAA Tucson Regional and end the season with a 35-24 overall record.
Starting pitcher junior Adam Mott went 7 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, while striking out five Tiger batters. The first run he gave up came in the bottom of the second and fought through the next five innings to keep his team within striking distance of a win.
Mott was pulled from the game after he gave up a double in the bottom of the eighth and Missouri took full advantage of the momentum shift to score five run in the inning. Relief pitcher Bob Kraft gave up a run in the eighth and senior Scott Coffman gave up three runs, a walk and two triples as he struggled in the final outing of his career. Coffman ended his career as the all-time saves leader with 22 in his time with the Aggies and also as the all-time appearance leader with 108 appearances on the mound.
"I was able to command all three of my pitches and on top of that, I was able to pitch with runners on base and that is basically what you have to do if you want to be successful on any level," Mott said. "We had a spectacular season and I wouldn't have done it with any other group of guys."
The Aggies took a 2-0 lead after a lead-off single by senior Tanner Waite and a walk by senior Bryan Karraker. Senior Zach Voight brought in Waite and Karraker on a triple to right-centerfield before Missouri cut the lead in half when they used three consecutive singles to jump on the board.
NM State had a runner on board in the top of the fifth when senior Zach Voight hammered a ball down the leftfield line that hit the third base umpire to prevent extra bases and possibly a run from scoring.
"It was just baseball luck," head coach Rocky Ward said. "We had a 2-1 lead and we had momentum early in the game. We left a lot of people on base and the No. 2 offense in the nation never showed up. That's the bottom line. We couldn't get the breakthrough hit we needed to carry momentum late in the game."
Missouri's Jeff Emens was the winning pitcher, going three innings with three strikeouts and no walks or runs. NM State freshman Robert Kraft was the losing pitcher as he was in the game when the Tigers took the lead.
Missouri got three hits and three RBI from left fielder Scott Sommerfeld and two hits, two runs and one RBI from designated hitter Michael McGraw. The Aggies led by designated hitter Kurt Snowley and his three hits along with the Aggies' lone RBI from short stop Zach Voight.
"I wouldn't have done this with another group of guys," Voight said. "I know everyone says that, but I have 26 brothers on this team that would do anything for one-another at any hour of the day. We have nothing to hand our heads about. We went down to the last pitch just like we have done all year. I feel like it was a successful year."