FRESNO, Calif. – The New Mexico State baseball team fell 11-8 in the series opener against Fresno State at Pete Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif., Friday, May 2.
The Aggies scored eight times on 11 hits and committed three errors, while Fresno State came up with 11 runs on 14 hits and had two errors on the day. With the loss NMSU dropped to 22-26 on the year and 9-12 in the Western Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs went to 27-21 in 2008, while they continue to lead the WAC at 15-6. Although the Aggies lost head coach Rocky Ward was pleased with the effort of his team.
“Overall, we gave a team effort,” Ward said. “We did a good job. We just made a couple mistakes that can’t be made.”
It looked like the Aggies would have a good day as they got on the scoreboard first. Junior Richard Stout (Boise, Idaho) started the game off with a lead-off single up the middle. After second baseman Bryan Marquez (Bonny Lake, Wash.) walked to advance Stout to second, senior Joseph Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) got on with a fielder’s choice that forced the Bulldog second baseman to commit a throwing error that allowed Stout to score.
That NMSU lead lasted about ten minutes as the Bulldogs scored four runs on three hits and two errors in the bottom of the first, before they scored two more runs in the bottom of the second to take a 6-1 lead.
The Aggies weren’t completely out of it as they scored a run when junior first baseman Chris Auten (Agovra Hills, Calif.) hit a lead-off home run in the top of the fourth. That was Auten’s eighth bomb of the year.
Fresno State answered right back with two runs on two in to hold their lead at 8-2 after four complete innings of play.
NMSU exploded in the top of the fifth with six runs on four hits and a Bulldog error to tie the game at eight. Stout got things started with a lead-off walk, which was followed by a walk by Marquez. Two batters later, Tyler Hardt (Hereford, Ariz.) singled to left field for two RBI. Marcus Quade (Littleton, Colo.) then got a single of his own, which was followed by another single by Joe Leghorn (Victoria, B.C.) to bring in the third run of the inning. Hardt, who reached third on Leghorn’s single, then scored on a passed ball. Leo Aguirre (Austin, Texas) came in as a pinch hitter and doubled to right center for RBI No. 13 and 14.
“This is the offensive ball club we expected to have,” Ward said about the big inning.
That lead was lost when the Bulldogs scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and added another in the bottom of the seventh to take the scored to 11-8 in favor of Fresno State with two innings to play.
NMSU loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but couldn’t get any runs to cross the plate and the game ended 11-8.
The Aggies will continue their series with Fresno State with a double-header at Pete Beiden Field, Saturday, May 3 that is set to begin at 3:05 p.m. (MDT). Aggie fans can listen to game one at KSNM AM 570 or get live stats at www.nmstatesports.com