LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State baseball team begins its 2014 schedule this Friday through Sunday, Feb. 14-16, with a four-game series against Saint Mary’s (Calif.) at Presley Askew Field. Game times are set for 6:05 p.m. on Friday, with a doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. followed by game two at approximately 5:05 p.m. on Saturday and the series finale on Sunday at 12:05 p.m.
Saturday’s second game of the doubleheader, as well as Sunday’s game, will be on KSNM AM 570, with Jeff Matthews calling all the action from the booth. The two radio games are part of 27 total radio broadcasts throughout this season for NM State. AggieVision will also produce four home games for television beginning with the matchup versus Oakland on Sunday, March 2.
Aggie fans can also follow every game this season free of charge with live stats by logging on to www.NMStateSports.com and clicking on the live events tab. Fans can also follow each game with up-to-the-minute updates on NM State Athletics’ Twitter account -- @NMStateAggies.
This will be the first time in school history that the Aggies and St. Mary’s have met on the baseball diamond. The Gaels, a member of the West Coast Conference, are also kicking off their season on Friday. St. Mary’s finished the 2013 season with a 21-31 overall record and 11-10 in the WCC.
NM State will send senior left-handed pitcher Chris Bradley to the mound for Friday’s opener. The Gaels will counter with a senior left-hander of their own, Ryan Brockett.
Head coach Rocky Ward, the winningest coach in NM State baseball history, begins his 18th season with the program in 2014. Last year, Ward and the Aggies finished the 2013 season with a 29-28 record, marking the fifth-consecutive season the NM State squad finished with a winning record. The Aggies finished one win short of also making it five years in a row with at least 30 wins.
NM State did, however, mark its first win in the WAC Tournament since 2009, defeating Texas-Arlington, 4-3. For the second-straight year, three of Ward’s players were either drafted or signed free agent contracts with a Major League team in 2013 (Ryan Beck, Parker Hipp, Tanner Rust).
The Aggies had four players collect 2013 All-WAC honors, including returning outfielder Michael Medina who was a second-team selection. NM State’s 2013 team led the WAC in runs scored (394), RBIs (357), walks (317), on-base percentage (.398) and was second in the conference in home runs (53). It was the sixth-consecutive season that the NM State offense led the WAC in both runs scored and RBIs.
Medina led the WAC in walks (45) while former Aggie Robert Lecount led the conference in RBIs (69) and Rust led the WAC in batting average (.375) and on-base percentage (.469). NM State has had a player lead the WAC in batting average for five-consecutive seasons and in RBIs for three-consecutive seasons.
Medina will be tapped to lead a 2014 Aggie team that lost all of its starting rotation and most of its top hitters from the previous season.
After Friday’s opener, Aggie players will be available to sign autographs. Saturday is Baseball Bingo Night at Presley Askew Field and Sunday marks the return of the famous 50-Cent Hot Dog Day at the stadium. Kids can also run the bases after the game on Sunday.
Season tickets for baseball are $49 for adults, $44 for NM State faculty, staff, and also senior citizens. Single game tickets cost $6 for adults or $4 per ticket for groups of 10 or more. Children 12-and-under can always enter the games for free as can NM State students. Fans can purchase single-game or season tickets at the Pan American Center ticket office or by calling (575) 646-1420. Aggie fans can also buy single-game tickets at the ticket booth at Presley Askew Field on gameday.