FRESNO, Calif. – The New Mexico State baseball team split the four-game weekend series with the Western Athletic Conference leading Bulldogs after a 6-4 loss at Pete Beiden Field, Sunday, May 4.
The loss took NMSU to 24-27 overall and 11-13 in conference play, while Fresno State continues to lead the WAC at 27-23 on the year and 16-8 in the league. NMSU came up with four runs on five hits against the major league bound Tanner Scheppers, the right-hand starter for Fresno State. Aggie starter Dillon Smith (El Paso, Texas) gave it his all as he threw 7 1/3 innings and struck out two batters, while walking only two and giving up five earned runs.
“We played ok, but Scheppers pitched well, today,” head coach Rocky Ward said. “It was a tough loss, but we did well against a guy who will play at the next level.”
NMSU put the first run up on the board when catcher Joe Leghorn (Victoria, B.C.) reached base on an error that allowed Tyler Hardt (Hereford, Ariz.) to score. Hardt got on with a double to right field.
The Aggies led until the bottom of the fourth when Fresno State scored two runs on two hits.
NMSU would tie up the game at 2-2 when Bryan Marquez (Bonny Lake, Wash.) scored on a wild pitch by Scheppers. Marquez had previously reached base on a fielder’s choice.
The Bulldogs took the lead back in the bottom of the fifth with two runs scored and seemed to pull away as they added another run in the sixth to take a 5-2 lead, but the Aggies didn’t give up.
NMSU scored two runs in the top of the seventh with Joseph Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) picking up his conference leading 63rd RBI on the year. Those two runs made it a one run game with Fresno State on top 5-4.
Fresno State scored again in the bottom of the eighth off an RBI single to extend their lead back to two runs. After eight complete innings play the Bulldogs led 6-4.
Although the Aggies got a hit from Colin Crouthamel (Elma, Wash.), who came in as a pinch hitter, they could not cross the plate in their final at-bat and fell 6-4.
The Aggies will now play at Presley Askew Field for the next two weeks, beginning with a four-game conference series against Hawai’i, Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10. The game on May 8 will be televised as a part of Aggie Vision on Comcast around the state of New Mexico.