Aggie Baseball Hits the Road for the First Time this Season
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  03/05/2014

The New Mexico State baseball team plays four games this week versus Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.  The series runs, Thursday through Sunday, March 6-9, with one game per day on Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.
    The series opener on Thursday is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. (MT) start, as is Friday’s game.  Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (MT) start while Sunday’s game will begin at 11 a.m. (MT).
    The first two games of the series will be broadcast live over the airwaves in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Mathews on the call.  Thursday’s game will be taped delayed on the radio, following the NM State women’s basketball game. Friday’s game will also be televised live by FOX College Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Arizona.  Fans should check with their television provider for availability and channel.
    This will be the first time this season the Aggies will play away from Presley Askew Field.  NM State enters the series against the Red Raiders with a 7-5 record with all games being played on its home turf.  
    After winning their first two series of the year, versus Saint Mary’s and SIU-Edwardsville, three games to one, the Aggies are coming off three losses in four games against Oakland (Mich.).  NM State did, however, win the final game of the series by a score of 17-2.
    The Aggies will face one of their toughest opponents of the season in Texas Tech.  The Red Raiders are ranked 26th in the country by both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Collegiate Baseball.
    Texas Tech is 10-3 on the season including 8-1 at Rip Griffin Park.  The Red Raiders have four wins over top-10 teams this season.  They began the season by taking three of four games over No. 3 Indiana at home, earning their first series win over a top-5 opponent since 2008.  More recently, Texas Tech beat No. 10 Rice in Houston, 3-2, on Sunday, March 2.  The win snapped a 15-game losing streak to Rice.  
    Thursday’s game will be the 56th meeting between the two schools with Texas Tech holding a 38-17 advantage.  The Aggies and Red Raiders first met on the diamond in 1965.  The teams split two games last season with each winning on their home field.  NM State defeated Texas Tech, 7-6, in Las Cruces on March 25.  The Red Raiders returned the favor with a 6-1 win over the Aggies on April 23 in Lubbock.

NM State-Texas Tech, Series
    This weekend the Aggies and Red Raiders will square off on the diamond for a four-game series, March 6-9.
    Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 38-17. The series began back in 1965, as the Aggies hosted the Red Raiders in Las Cruces. In the last 10 games against Texas Tech, the Red Raiders hold a 6-4 advantage, but the Aggies have won two of the last four meetings.
    Since 1997, when head coach Rocky Ward began his involvement with the program, the Aggies are 8-14 against Texas Tech, including two wins over The Red Raiders in 1997, when Texas Tech was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Both those games were played in Las Cruces. Earlier that same season, the Aggies played Texas Tech in a three-game series when they were ranked No. 22, dropping all three games.
    In 2013, the Aggies split with Texas Tech, as the home team won their respective game.
Scouting Texas Tech
    Texas Tech enters the weekend at 10-3 overall and 8-1 at home, having played just one away game and three neutral site contests to start the 2014 season.
    As a team, the Red Raiders are batting .267 at the plate with 100 runs scored, 50 RBI and four home runs. Th pitching staff has a 2.78 ERA collectively, striking out 66 batters on the season, thus far.
    Adam Kirsch led Texas Tech, each hitting .395. Kirsh is the clubs leader with 29 total bases, 17 hits, including 11 RBI.
    Pitcher Cameron Smith leads the Texas Tech pitching staff with a 1.02 ERA, holding a 4-0 record on the season. Matt Withrow leads the team with 13 strike outs.  The Red Raiders have seven pitchers with an ERA under two.

Aggies in the Last Five Games
    Going 2-3 over their last five games, the Aggies got big performances out of Kent Blackstone, Kristoffer Koerper and Michael Medina at the plate.  Leading the team with a .438 batting average, Blackstone had 16 at bats with seven hits, scoring five runs while driving in five more over the weekend.      
    Koerper had a batting average of .381 in 21 at bats, driving in five runs on eight hits, while also scoring six.
    As a team the Aggies had a .293 average compared to their opponents .298.  NM State outscored their opponents by six runs, 38-32, on only 48 hits and four homeruns.  The Aggies also have a higher slugging percentage then their opponent, averaging a .421 over the weekend compared to their opponents .322.  
    Christopher Bradley had a good outing having six innings pitched with a 0.00 ERA, only giving up five hits and four walks.  Riley Barr threw for 3.2 innings giving up no runs and only two hits.
    Robert Kraft led the Aggies in strikeouts with seven in six innings pitched.  Kraft ended the outing with a 1.50 ERA and the loss while only giving up one earned run on nine hits.
    As a team the Aggies pitching had a combined 3.35 ERA, only giving up 16 earned runs on 32 hits.

NM State in the Last Ten Games
    The Aggies have split their last ten games, all at home, ending the ten game stretch 5-5.  Having outscored their opponents a combined 80 runs to 64, NM State has had some trouble with fielding, garnering 23 errors compared to their opponents 15.
    Pitching, the Aggies only gave up 43 earned runs while their opponents gave up 67.  The Aggies have also been keeping a low ERA, averaging a 4.40 ERA over the last ten.  Only giving up 102 hits in 88 innings pitched, with two home runs, the pitching is looking solid.
    Led by pitcher Christopher Bradley with an ERA of 2.25, the Aggies have six pitchers under a 3.0 ERA.  Bradley has given up 10 hits in 12 innings pitched, only having three earned runs.  Robert Kraft is another NM State standout with a 2.87 ERA, garnering a 1-1 record with a team high 15 strikeouts.
    From the plate the Aggies have been led by Kristoffer Koerper.  Koerper has a .425 batting average in 40 at bats, driving in 13 runs on 17 hits while scoring another 13 runs.  Koerper also has a team high three homeruns on the season, while also putting up a incredible .725 slugging percentage.
    Jory Goldstrom has a .400 batting average in 30 at bats, followed by Kent Blackstone with a .379 batting average in 29 at bats.  NM State has a combined .289 batting average during this ten game stretch, with a .414 slugging percentage, compared to their opponents combined .348.

Blackstone Named WAC Hitter of the Week    
    New Mexico State infielder Kent Blackstone was named the Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week, for February 24-March 2.
    Blackstone, a sophomore from Vienna, Va. (George C. Marshall HS), hit .538 (7-for-13) on the week with five runs, five RBI, one double, one home run and three walks. Blackstone stood out in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader as he went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored. He doubled and had a home run in the game. He was also impressive in game two of Saturday’s twin bill, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with one run and a hit-by-pitch. With his efforts against Oakland, Blackstone raised his batting average over .300 for the season.
Aggies in the WAC
     The Aggies currently hold top spots in multiple statistical categories in the Western Athletic Conference. At 7-5, New Mexico State has the best record in the conference. On the offensive end, NM State leads the conference in hits with 114, home runs with 10 and walks with 81. They also lead the conference with 168 total bases, doubles with 22 and runs scored with 98. The Aggies have made the most of their opportunities with a league leading slugging percentage of .429, an on base percentage of .422 and a batting average of .291, which is good for second place in the conference behind Chicago State. NM State also leads the league with 88 RBI.
     Kristoffer Koerper, a first basemen for the Aggies, leads the conference with a .447 batting average. He is also first in the conference in runs scored (15), hits (21), RBI (19), doubles (5), total bases (35), home runs (3) and slugging percentage (.745). Ryan Wagner, an outfielder for the Aggies, is tied for first place in the conference with teammate Koerper for home runs with three on the season. Michael Medina, Kent Blackstone and Michael Paulson sit one, two and three in the conference with 13, 11 and 10 walks respectively.
    NM State has been getting it done on the defensive end as well as they lead the league with 91 batters struck out and 23 struck out looking. The Aggies sit atop the conference in strikeouts per game with 7.88 per contest.
The Oakland Series
    The Aggies finished 1-3 over the weekend in a home series against Oakland University. The first game, on Friday Feb. 28th, resulted in a losing effort for New Mexico State by a score of 3-8. The second match was the top end of a doubleheader on Saturday March 1, and it also ended in a loss for NMSU by a score of 11-14. In the back end of the doubleheader the Aggies fell to Oakland for the third time by a score of 3-7. In the final game of the series on Sunday March 2, the Aggies avoided a sweep and came away victorious in a crushing 17-2 win over Oakland. After the series NM State advanced to 7-5 on the season with a road series versus Texas Tech up next.
     During the series, the Aggies were led by Blackstone, who earned Western Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week honors for Feb. 24-March 2, and Koerper. During the series against Oakland, Blackstone had one home run and five RBI. Blackstone also led the Aggies with a slugging percentage of .846 and a .538 batting average. Koerper led the Aggies with six runs and seven hits. He also had five RBI and one home run as well.
Kristoffer Koerper Leads the NM State Offense
Koerper is leading the Aggies with a .447 batting average and is currently the only NM State hitter batting over .400. He has started the majority of games in the cleanup spot where he has made the most of his opportunities as he leads the team and league with 19 RBI. Currently, Koerper has a 12-game streak of reaching base safely in a game. He also leads the team with six multiple-hit games and six multiple RBI games.
Goldstrom’s Bat is Hot
    Jory Goldstrom is second on the team with a .394 batting average. He has reached base safely in 11 straight games, which is only second to Koerper. Goldstrom is third on the team with a .515 slugging percentage as well.
Umphres gives Aggies Consistency
Derek Umphres has played in all 12 games this season and started 11 of those. He has a batting average of .341 and has scored 10 runs on 14 hits this season. He is also responsible for the only triple this season for NM State. Umphres has also drawn 11 walks, which is second to Michael Medina’s 13. He is tied for second on the team with the most multiple-hit games this season with five.
Paulson a Guy the Aggies can Count On
    Michael Paulson has started all 12 games for the Aggies and has a batting average of .302. He has hit two doubles and has 10 RBI, which is third on the team. Paulson also has a .411 on-base percentage, one stolen base and has five multiple-hit games. He currently has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage this season as well.
Medina Walkin’ Along
Michael Medina has started all 12 games for NM State this season and leads the team and league with 13 walks. He has scored 14 runs, which is second on the team, and has an on-base percentage of .500. Medina also owns a current three-game hitting streak, which is the longest current streak on the team.
Deep Ball is Wagner’s Game
Ryan Wagner has started 10 games for the Aggies and has 11 hits and 12 RBI. He owns a .550 slugging percentage and has hit three homeruns this season, which is tied for most on the team.
Bradley Solid for the Aggies
Christopher Bradley has started three games on the mound for the Aggies this season. He currently has a 2.70 ERA, which is the best on the team among starters. He has pitched 16.2 innings and struck out 15 batters. He has surrendered only three extra-base hits this season but has not allowed a homerun. Batters facing him are held to a .226 batting average.
Barr the Middle Man for NM State
Riley Barr has pitched six games as a reliever this season. He holds a record of 2-0 and has a 2.70 ERA. In 6.2 innings he has struck out five batters and allowed only one walk. Barr has not allowed an extra-base hit this season and has allowed only two runs in his six appearances.
Kilgore Undefeated as a Starter
Kyle Kilgore has started three games and is undefeated at 2-0 so far this season. He has a 4.50 ERA but has struck out 10 batters in 14.0 innings of work. He has a .292 batting average against him and has allowed one double and one triple this season.

Koerper Named College Sports Madness WAC Baseball Player of the Week
    College Sports Madness has named New Mexico State Infielder Kristoffer Koerper the Madness WAC Baseball Player of the Week for his exceptional performance during the past week’s action.
    Koerper hit.412 against Oakland, recording six runs on seven hits, including five RBI and 11 total bases. Koerper also had one homerun and collected a team-high 32 putouts.

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