BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The New Mexico State baseball team lost a heartbreaker in 13 innings dropping a second game in as many nights to Bakersfield at Hardt Field. The Aggies fell 7-6 and are now 18-27 on the year and 9-11 in Western Athletic Conference play and CSUB moves to 23-27overall and 14-9 in league games.
The two teams combined for 31 hits with NM State posting 14 and Bakersfield marking 17. Each team struggled defensively posting three errors each.
The ‘Runners took an early 1-0 lead after scoring on a two-out double in the bottom of the first. A Bakersfield error in the top of the fourth led to two unearned Aggie runs to give NM State a 2-1 advantage. The Aggies added two more runs in the fifth on a two-RBI single from designated hitter Kyle Kilgore to give his team a 4-1 lead.
Starting pitcher Billy Conard was pulled in the top of the seventh after he gave up one run in the top of the sixth and another in the seventh. He finished the game working 6.1 innings while striking out two of the 31 batters he faced. Right-hander Riley Barr relieved Conard and lasted 1.2 innings on the mound while not giving up a run.
CSUB stranded the tying run at first in the eighth inning but tied the game 4-4 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after a ‘Runner reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an Aggie error. The next CSUB batter came to the plate to face left-hander Trey Higginbotham, who was the fourth pitcher of the evening. That batter was down 1-2 in the count but was able to tie the game with an RBI double.
Neither team scored in the 10th inning but both teams scored in the 11th to make it a 5-5 game. Senior Michael Paulson put the Aggies up 5-4 with a single to left before CSUB tied it in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
The Aggies left a runner aboard in the 12th inning and so did the ‘Runners to take it to the dramatic 13th. In the top of the 13 senior outfielder Michael Medina led things off with a solo home run giving the Aggies a 6-5 lead, although the next three batters went down in order. The first batter for the Roadrunners in the bottom of the 13 came to the plate and hit a homer to right-centerfield. The CSUB homer was followed by homer a single to right center to get the go-ahead runner on base. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and the next batter got aboard on a walk. The following batter hit a grounder to the Aggies' shortstop, who committed an error which allowed the runner on second to cross the plate for the game-winning run.
Three different batters got seven at-bats on the night while six Aggie batters marked at least two hits with Medina leading the way going 3-of-7 at the dish with a run and an RBI. CSUB pitcher Max Carter was awarded the win and is now 1-3 on the year and NM State righty Zach Freeman was credited with the loss and falls to 3-5 overall.
The series concludes, Sunday, May 11 at 2 p.m. (MT) in Bakersfield. Listen to the game on the radio in Las Cruces on KGRT AM 570.