Aggie Baseball Sweeps Little Rock With 5-3 Win Sunday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  05/15/2005
Vince Rodden made a game saving catch with two outs in the bottom of...
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. Junior Vince Rodden made a leaping catch up against the center field wall with the bases loaded and the New Mexico State baseball team held on for the series sweep Sunday, defeating Arkansas-Little Rock, 5-3 in the finale of a Sun Belt Conference series at Presley Askew Field.


Down by two, the Trojans rallied to load the bases in the top of the ninth inning.  After shortstop Derek Eilers led off the frame with a base hit through the left side, freshman Tyler Sturdevant (Littleton, Colo.) struck out the next two batters, but third baseman Steve Bilokur singled up the middle and UALR loaded the bases on an error to put the tying run into scoring position.  After two straight balls from Sturdevant to start the at-bat, left fielder Jimmy Scott turned on a 2-0 pitch and sent it sailing back to center, but Rodden made a spectacular leaping grab against the wall the seal the win for the Aggies.


With the sweep, the Aggies have now swept three Sun Belt Conference series in one season for the first time in school history.  NMSU is now 28-23 overall and 13-8 in league play.  With another sweep in their final conference series next weekend at Middle Tennessee, the Aggies would move into second place in the league standings and set a program record for most Sun Belt wins in a season.  The 2003 squad, which set a school record for wins in a season, went 15-9 in conference play that year.


With the loss, the Trojans fall to 23-29 overall and 6-13 in conference action.  This was the first time that UALR had lost three straight games to the Aggies and the all-time series is now knotted at eight games apiece.


Sophomore Adam Harvey (Celina, Texas) led the Aggie offense going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run.  Senior Emory Davies (Louisville, Ky.), who went 4-for-8 in the series, finished Sunday’s tilt 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored while junior Derek Maytubby (Albuquerque/Sandia HS) went 1-for-4 with a run driven in.  Junior Jason Long (Midwest City, Okla.), who hit out of the leadoff spot for the first time this season, finished 3-for-5 at the plate.


Catcher Tommy Bryant, who hit his 11th home run of the season in the loss, went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBI to lead the Trojans.  Eilers finished the day 2-for-4 with a run and center fielder Tim Lawrence went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI.


Junior Bryan Robinson (University Place, Wash.) had a great outing on the mound as the lefty allowed just two runs on five hits to get the win and improve to 5-2 on the season.  Sturdevant, who picked up his second save of the weekend and fourth on the season, struck out three in two innings of relief.


Trojan starter Trevor Clay allowed five runs on five hits in 6.2 innings of work to earn the loss and fall to 5-4 on the season.  Clay, who threw 124 pitches in the outing, struck out five and walked just two in the loss.


The Aggies jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run home run by Harvey.  After red shirt freshman Luke Hopkins (Albuquerque/St. Pius X HS) beat out an infield single to put runners at first and second with two down, Harvey smacked a 1-2 pitch from Clay to deep center field for his 11th home run of the season.


After the Trojans cut the lead to 3-2 with three consecutive doubles in the top of the third, the Aggies pushed the lead back to two when senior Mark Aranda (Albuquerque/West Mesa HS) scored from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame.


In the seventh, Davies and Maytubby drilled back-to-back two-out doubles to plate a run and put the Aggies up 5-3.  In the top of the eighth, the Trojans cut into the lead with a leadoff homer by Bryant, but with two on and nobody out, Sturdevant came in and retired three of the next four hitters to get NMSU out of the jam.


The Aggies will look to end their 2005 home season with a win as they host Texas Tech in the home finale Tuesday night.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. and fans can catch all the action with Jeff Matthews on KSNM 570 AM.  LiveStats and live video will also be available via the web at www.nmstatesports.com.


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