SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The New Mexico State baseball team broke their six game losing streak with a 7-4 conference win over Sacramento State at Hornet Field in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, April 25.
NMSU goes to 19-25 overall, while rising to 6-11 in Western Athletic Conference play. Sac State fell to 19-20 overall and 10-6 in WAC play. Junior Tyler Sturdevant got the win and goes to 5-4 on the year as he struck out three of the 33 batters he faced, while not giving up a single walk.
“This was a good baseball win for everyone on the ball club,” head coach Rocky Ward said. “Our pitching was great and our hitters backed up Sturdevant with hard hits.”
NMSU hit came up with seven runs on 12 hits and committed two errors. Four of the Aggie hits were home runs for 70 bombs on the season.
Catcher Joe Leghorn (Victoria, B.C.) hit a rocket-shot over the right-field wall in the top of the second inning for his fourth home run of the year that gave his team a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, a Sac State hitter came up with a double while an Aggie outfielder committed a throwing error to move the runner to third base, which led to the game tying run. The Hornets put up another run after that to take a 2-1 lead.
With two outs in the top of the sixth, designated hitter Tyler Hardt (Hereford, Ariz.) tied the game up with a hard swing of the bat to hit his sixth home run of 2008. After consecutive singles from Marcus Quade (Littleton, Colo.) and Leghorn, junior right fielder Franky Busani (Mesa, Ariz.) hit a triple for two RBI to give NMSU a 4-2 lead.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth Sac State scored one run off a sacrifice fly, before Joseph Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) threw a Hornet runner out a home to get the third out of the sixth inning.
Scaperotta would take that momentum and hit his conference leading 17th home run of the season to give NMSU a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh.
The Hornets scored another run in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 6-4. On the RBI play Busani started a run down play that went 9-2-6-4-5-3-6 for the final out of the inning.
Busani seemed to get some momentum from the run-down play he started and hit his 12th home run of the year, which gave the Aggies a 6-4 lead after 7 ½ innings of play.
With two outs in the ninth, NMSU got two runners aboard and score one of those runners on a throwing error by the catcher when he tried to get an out at first base.
NMSU will continue its four-game series with the Hornets with a double-header in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, April 26 with the first game starting at 12:00 p.m. (MDT). Game one will be aired on the radio at KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews giving the play-by-play action. Live stats will be available for both games at www.nmstatesports.com.