HONOLULU, Hawai’i – Junior right-hander Dillon Smith picked up his first win, while junior infielder Geoff Downing got his first home run of the year as the New Mexico State baseball team won 6-5 over Hawai’i-Pacific in 10 innings.
Smith (El Paso, Texas) came in during the ninth inning to face nine batters to close out the win. Downing (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) hit a blast over the left centerfield fence during the sixth when the Aggies put three runs up on the board.
The Aggies (15-16) scored six runs on six hits while they committed only one error, and HPU scored five runs on 11 hits, but committed four costly errors.
Caleb Hunsaker (Mesa, Ariz.) got his first start of season pitched as season high seven innings, which included a season high six strike outs.
The game was scoreless after both teams left two runners stranded in the first inning. Aggies left two aboard again in the second, but the Sea Warriors scored the first run of the game off a sacrifice fly.
Junior shortstop Richard Stout (Boise, Idaho) reached base on a throwing error by the HPU shortstop, then advanced to second on a wild pitch before scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game in the fifth.
The sixth inning saw three runs cross the plate. It started with a Tyler Hardt (Hereford, Ariz.) double down the right field line, which was followed by a Leo Aguirre (Austin, Texas) single to advance Hardt to third. Hardt scored on a fielder’s choice by Matt Lopez (Palm Desert, Calif.) before Downing hit a two run bomb to give the Aggies a 4-1 lead.
HPU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth, before right fielder Franky Busani (Mesa, Ariz.) hit an RBI single to left field to put the Aggies up 5-2. The Sea Warriors scored three runs on three hits, a walk and one error in the ninth to tie the game at five a piece.
NMSU sealed the game in the tenth inning after Downing reached base on a throwing error and eventually scored when Stout reached base on a throwing error by the HPU shortstop.
The Aggies will begin a four-game series against Hawai’i, Thursday, April 10 at 10:35 p.m. (MDT). Fans can listen to the game at KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews and Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action.