First Pitch: The New Mexico State baseball team returns home from a 12-day road trip hosting Louisiana Tech at Presley Askew Field, Friday, April 30 through Sunday, May 2. Friday's series opener starts at 6:05 p.m. (MT), Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3:05 p.m. (MT) and Sunday's series finale is slated for a 1:05 p.m. (MT) first pitch.
Media Coverage: The first three games of the series will be aired on KSNM 570 AM in Las Cruces with Jeff Matthews giving the play-by-play action. It can also be heard on the Internet for a fee at www.NMStateSports.com. The final game of the league show down is set to air on TV as a part of the AggieVision Productions. Fans should go www.AggieVision.tv for a complete listing of show times. Comcast around the state of New Mexico is scheduled to carry the telecast in Albuquerque (Ch. 53), Las Cruces (Ch. 4), Gallup (Ch. 66), and Santa Fe (Ch. 21). Fans and media can also access live stats at the Official NM State Athletics website by clicking on the live events link found at the top of the webpage.
About NM State: The Aggies enter week 12 of the 2010 NCAA baseball season sitting atop of the WAC standings with a 9-2-1 league record, while receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (CBN) Poll and in the USA Today/Coaches polls. The Aggies are coming off a 12-day, eight-game road trip in California, sweeping Sacramento State after taking the series 3-1 from San Jose State. NM State has won six consecutive games heading into this weekend series with Louisiana Tech, but the longest win streak of the season sits at 12 games (March 20-April 9).
The Aggies started the season 0-3 after losing to Washington, Gonzaga and Missouri in the Cactus Classic, which was held in Tucson, Ariz. from Feb. 19-21. NM State is now well above .500 at 31-12-1. The 10-10 tie came Sunday, April 11, in the series finale against Nevada. NM State won 11-consecutive games before jumping into the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (CBN) Top-30 NCAA Division I baseball poll at No. 20, Monday, April 5.
The Aggies took two of three games from UC-Santa Barbara before sweeping Wofford in a four-game series. NM State then went to Texas beating Texas Tech in Midland, Texas, March 30, before sweeping Houston Baptist in Houston. Other than losing the three games in the season opening tournament the Aggies have only lost one series in 2010, falling to offensive powerhouse Georgia State 2-1, which included a loss where NM State scored 24 runs.
The Aggies have posted a nation-leading 444 RBI and have already blasted 87 home runs, which currently ranks third nationwide. They could very well break the school of 119 homers in a season, which was set in 2009. The Aggies have tallied at least 100 home runs in a season four times under head coach Rocky Ward.
The Aggies are 16-6-1 at home this season after they were 29-9 at home in 2009. After going 5-0 from March 30-April 3, NM State is 10-3 on the road and 1-3 at neutral sites. It was a spectacular season last year posting one of the most successful seasons in NM State baseball history, breaking the school record for most wins in a season at 44. The 44 games the Aggies won in 2009 broke the record that was held by the 2003 NM State baseball team the won 43 games while a part of the Sun Belt Conference. The Aggie won 16 more games than they did in 2008 and finished with 29 wins at home. With its winning ways, NM State went into the WAC tournament as the No. 4 seed and eventually ousted No. 1 seed San Jose State and No. 2 seed Louisiana Tech before falling to Fresno State on Championship Day losing 9-7 and 5-3. The Aggies did place three players on the all-tournament team including outfielder Richard Stout, infielder Mike Sodders and right hand pitcher DJ Simon.
Looking Back: NM State opened the 2010 season 0-3 after falling 4-2 to Washington, 9-3 to Gonzaga and 2-1 in 10 innings to Missouri in the first week of play at the Cactus Classic in Tucson, Ariz. However, NM State has gone above .500 on the season after taking a series from Akron as well as a series from St. Joseph's. The Aggies took two of three games from UC-Santa Barbara (March 20-21), which started a 12-game winning streak that ended April 10 with a 17-2 loss to Nevada. NM State fell two out of three games to Georgia State (March 12-13), who has one of the nation's leading offenses. NM State fell 36-16 to Georgia State, March 14, which was the largest deficit for the Aggies this season. The Aggies swept Wofford in a four-game series at home March 26-28 and swept Houston Baptist three weeks ago in Houston, Texas. After taking two out of three games from San Jose State two weeks ago and sweeping Sacramento State last week, the Aggies take their record to 31-12-1 heading into the fourth week of conference play. They are currently receiving votes in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and in the CBN NCAA Division I Poll.
NM State Versus Louisiana Tech: The Aggies are 11-9 all-time against Louisiana Tech. NM State won the first ever meeting between the two teams 1-0 back in 2001, when both were a part of the Sun Belt Conference. The Aggies split the regular season series with the Bulldogs last year and also defeated them in the WAC Tournament 6-5.
Louisiana Tech is 21-18 overall and 6-6 in league play heading into this weekend's series. The Bulldogs split their four-game series with Hawai'i in Ruston, Louisiana, March 22-25. They were selected to finish fourth in the preseason coaches poll.
Leading the way offensively for is Joey Ford who is carrying a .382 batting average (55-of-144). On the mound, Mike Jefferson has the lowest ERA at 4.24, while posting 38 K's.
Looking Ahead: NM State continues Western Athletic Conference play as 2009 WAC Tournament winner, Fresno State heads to Presley Askew Field for a four-game series, May 7-9. The series opens, Friday, May 7 at 6:05 p.m. (MT)m with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, May 3 starting at 3:05 p.m. (MT). Sunday's series final is set to start at 1:05 p.m. (MT). Friday's and Sunday's games are scheduled to air on TV as a part of the AggieVision Productions and Saturday's doubleheader can be heard over the radio waves at KSNM AM 570. Fans can also listen to the radio broadcasts and watch webcasts through the Internet at www.NMStateSports.com.
National Leaders: According to Boydsworld.com, a website dedicated to showing national baseball statistics for the NCAA, the Aggies lead the nation in hits (582), at-bats (1,637), RBI (444), total bases (983), and walks (303). Heading into week 12 of play, NM State is second in the nation in on-base percentage (.460), third in slugging percentage (.600), fifth in batting average (.356), second in runs (477), sixth in doubles (116) and third in home runs (87). Georgia Tech heads into this weekend's play with 90 homers while Morehead State has 88.
Hitting the Long Ball: The Aggies lead the WAC in home runs so far this season with 87. They are averaging just under two home runs per game (1.98) while four different Aggies have posted double-digit home runs figures this season.
The Aggie record for home runs in a season 119 (2009) while the most home runs hit in a game was 10, which happened against Chicago State, Feb. 27, 2009.
The NCAA record for most home runs in a season is 188, which was done by LSU in 1997.
On the Road: According to WarrenNolan.com, a website dedicated to keeping track of win-loss records and streaks, the NM State baseball team has the second best road record in the country at 14-3. Coastal Carolina is tops at 13-2, while Conneticut is just behind NM State at 17-4.
NM State is hitting .325 on the road and has posted 27 home runs on the opponents home turf. NM State is 1-3 when playing at a neutral site, defeating Texas Tech 6-2 in Midland, Texas, March 30.
Auten in the Lineup: Senior first baseman Chris Auten picked up season-highs of five hits, five RBI and nine total bases against San Jose State (4/18). Auten leads the WAC in walks with 34 and walks per game at 0.89. He is also seventh in the WAC in on-base percentage at .468 and eighth in the conference in runs scored per game with 1.08.
Auten started all four games against San Jose State two weeks ago and hit .421 (8-of-19) with six RBI, two home runs and a double. On the year, he is hitting .325 with 11 doubles and six home runs. In conference play, Auten's batting average is slightly up at .351.
He entered the top 10 for doubles in a career. He hit his 10th double of the season and his 35th double of his career in game two of a doubleheader against Wofford, Saturday, March 27. He is now tied with for former All-American and Aggie great Joseph Scaperotta in No. 9 spot on the career list with 36 doubles. Scaperotta accomplished the feat from 2007-08. Chris Fanning, who played for NM State from 1988-91, posted 51 doubles in his career.
Freshman Gaining Experience: Freshman TylerMack is tied for the WAC lead in wins with fellow teammate Dan Reid with five. Mack is also tenth in the WAC in strikeouts with 36. Mack has season-highs of 6.1 innings pitched at San Jose State (4/19) and eight strikeouts versus Wofford College (3/28). He is one of two freshman pitchers gaining valuable experience this season. He has made 13 appearances, six of those starts. Mack's record is 5-0 while he has struck out 36 batters on the year. Mack threw a season-high 6.1 innings against San Jose State, April 19 but was given a no-decision as the Aggies scored four runs in the top of the ninth to go up and eventually win 5-3. His first start as an Aggie came March 21 against UC-Santa Barbara. That day NM State won 12-5 with Mack going 5.0 innings on the mound. He struck out two batters and allowed only one walk against the Gouchos.
Ryan Aguayo Filling in for All-American Nicely: Shortstop Ryan Aguayo leads the WAC in hits with 67, runs scored with 61 and plate appearances with 220. Aguayo is also third in the league with 45 RBI, second in the WAC with 117 total bases and ninth in the WAC with a batting average of .374. Aguayo also ranks eighth in the WAC in slugging percentage (.639), tenth in on base percentage (.461), fourth in walks (31), seventh in doubles (13) and fifth in home runs with 11. Aguayo also ranks in the top 10 in hits per game (3rd), runs scored per game (2nd), doubles per game (10th), home runs per game (6th), RBI's per game (7th), walks per game (8th), at bats per game (5th) and plate appearances per game (2nd).
Dan Reid Making an Impact on the Mound: Reid has appeared in 10 games for NM State this season. He is tied for first in the WAC along with teammate Tyler Mack in wins with five, tied for second in the WAC in games started with 10 and is sixth in the WAC with 53.1 innings pitched. Reid has only allowed 11 walks this season ,which is tied for second best in the conference. He is second in the league with 1.86 walks a game, fifth in batters faced a game at 42.86 and also tied for fifth in the WAC in innings per game with 5.33 per contest.
Leo Aguirre Showing Senior Leadership: Senior Leo Aguirre is first on the team and second in the WAC with a .400 batting average. Leo is also second in the WAC with 62 hits, fifth in the WAC with 45 RBI and third in the WAC with 16 doubles. Aguirre is also in the top ten in the WAC in slugging percentage at .639 (10th), on base percentage .486 (4th), runs scored 45 (4th), hits 62 (2nd), and total bases 99 (6th). Aguirre also ranks in the WAC in hits per game 1.51 (4th) and runs scored a game at 1.10 (7th).
Wade Reynoso Playing Tough at Third base: Reynoso has played in 41 games this season, starting in 35 of those games. He has season-highs of four hits, six RBI and seven total bases all versus in state rival UNM (3/3). Reynoso is fourth on the team in at bats with 151, tied for fifth on the team in RBI with 39 and is also tied for fifth on the team in home runs with seven.
Justin Cooper Gets Another Start: Sophomore Justin Cooper has made 12 appearances and worked 52 complete innings on the hill for the Aggies this season. He leads the team in innings pitched in a game with 7.1 against San Jose State (4/16). He earned his latest win came against Sacramento State, throwing 7.0 innings and striking out five batters. Copper and the rest of the Aggie pitching staff lead the WAC in batters struck out with 315 on the year. Cooper will be starting for NM State in the opening game of the series against Louisiana Tech.
Ward Owns All-Time Win Record: New Mexico State head baseball coach Rocky Ward recently became the all-time winningest coach at NM State surpassing Jim Kwasny who tallied 300 wins from 1969-82. Ward, who is in his 12th season as Aggie head coach, picked up win No. 301 when his team defeated Akron 8-3 in game one of a doubleheader, Saturday, Feb. 27 at Presley Askew Field. NM State was victorious in game two as well and blasted the Zips 17-5 in the series finale to take Ward's win total to 307. He currently has 329 wins on his career.
Coach Ward continues to push his student-athletes year-in and year-out while also overcoming adversity and changing conference three times during his time at NM State. His 2003 team posted 43 wins, setting the school record for wins in a season; although, that Ward's 2009 team broke the record when it won 44 games. NM State did, however, earn its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and won the school's first ever NCAA Tournament game as the Aggies defeated UNLV 14-12 in the regional round. That win came during a five-year span when NM State posted a record of 174-120 (2001-06), the most wins in a five-year span in the history of Aggie baseball.
Shaver Named WAC Hitter of the Week: Senior Nate Shaver was named Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week by the WAC office, Monday, April 12, for his play during the week of April 5-11. Shaver, a native of The Dalles, Ore., was errorless in the outfield for NM State, while he led the team at the plate with a consistent bat as he was 10-for-14 at the plate without striking out for a .714 batting average. Shaver posted two doubles, a triple and three RBI to help the Aggies to a 2-1-1 record against the Wolf Pack. Shaver helped his on-base percentage with a .765 on-base percentage against Nevada that week. He added two walks and was hit by a pitch once.
Aguirre Named WAC Hitter of the Week: Senior Leo Aguirre team has been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for the week of March 29-April 4 as announced by the WAC office, Monday, April 5.
Aguirre, a senior from Austin, Texas earned his first WAC Hitter of the Week honor as he led the Aggies to a 5-0 record last week as the team extended its winning streak to 11 games. Aguirre hit .565 going 13-of-23 at the plate to help record wins over Texas Tech and Houston Baptist. He did not strike out once in his 23 at-bats going 3-for-3 against the Red Raiders and 10-for-20 against HBU. After a great week with the bat, Aguirre leads the WAC with a .444 batting average. He posted six doubles, seven RBI, and seven runs scored to go along with a .826 slugging percentage and a .630 on-base percentage. Playing first base for most of the week, Aguirre was able to stay error free in helping the Aggies commit only five errors in five games played that week.
CollegeBaseballInsider.com Regional Player of the Week: Senior Leo Aguirre was named West Region Player of the Week by CollgeBaseballInsider.com for his play during the week of March 29-April 4. Aguirre batted .565 (13 for 23) as the Aggies put together a 5-0 week. Aguirre had six doubles, seven runs and seven RBI. He did not strike out during the week and posted an on-base percentage of .630 and slugging percentage of .826. Aguirre went 3 for 3 against Texas Tech and 10 for 20 in a four-game series at Houston Baptist.
Wallace Watch List: New Mexico State shortstop Ryan Aguayo was named to the 2010 Brooks Wallace Award watch list, Tuesday, March 23, which was released by the College Baseball Foundation.
The Wallace Award, sponsored by Mizuno, goes to the nation's top shortstop and will be presented on July 2, 2010, in Lubbock, Texas as a part of the College Baseball Awards show.
Aguayo is currently holds a .391 batting average. His play on defense is just as good as he has come up with a team-high 143 assists while committing just 12 errors to come up with a fielding percentage of .945. He has played in all 40 games this season and has started 38 of those games.
Big Win For Aggies; Biggest Loss for Hawks: The 33-1 win over Saint Joseph's was the biggest loss for the Hawks in the program's history. Thirty runs was the most runs SJU had ever given up, which it did to Vanderbilt back in 1986. The Aggies are in the top-10 in the NCAA record books for the largest winning margin. They defeated Western New Mexico 35-0, April 7, 1981.
It Was A Long One: Everyone in attendance at the 35-16 loss got to experience game that lasted 4:40. It was nine innings long but the base runners continued to cross the plate extending the time of the game. No records are kept in the Official NCAA record book for the longest amount of time for a game, but the most innings played in a game is 22. Baylor played 22 innings against Houston on Feb. 21, 1999 and Colorado defeated Nebraska in 22 innings, April 26, 1974.
WAC Hitter of the Week (March 23): The Western Athletic Conference announced designated hitter/catcher Ben Harty of the New Mexico State baseball team as the Verizon Wireless WAC Baseball Hitter of the week for the week of March 15-22.
After hitting .480 from March 15-22, Harty bettered his average by hitting .500 that week, going 7-for-14 against the best pitching staff in the Big West Conference. Harty blasted a team-high three home runs and slugged 1.214 as the Aggies scored 33 runs in three games. Harty hit his first homer of the week in a 10-9 loss to the Gouchos, where the Aggies lost the game in the final inning. Harty homered to right-centerfield starting the Aggies' four-run ninth inning that temporarily gave them the lead. In game two of the doubleheader with the Gouchos where the Aggies had to come-from-behind to win 12-7, Harty went 3-of-5 with three runs scored and three RBI. He also added two home runs in that game and was robbed of another at the fence in centerfield. Harty is currently out of the line-up with a wrist injury. He could possibly be out for one more weeks.
WAC Hitter of the Week (March 8): New Mexico State senior third baseman Wade Reynoso was named Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Baseball Hitter of the Week for the week of March 1-7, as announced by the league office, Monday, March, 8. Reynoso helped NM State to a 4-2 record that week as his team took one of two games from then No. 20 New Mexico and three out of four games from Saint Joseph's. He batted .522 and registered a 1.000 slugging percentage over the six games.
Reynoso recorded a season-high six at-bats, a season-high four hits and a season-high six RBI against UNM to lead the Aggies to a 17-8 victory. Although he didn't get the start in the opening game of the series against Saint Joseph's, Reynoso had a good day at the plate 2-for-3 with three RBI, a double and two runs scored. In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, he was 3-of-5 at the dish with another double. The second game of the doubleheader saw Reynoso come up with three RBI, which came when he blasted a home run to right field. Reynoso ended the week with a 2-for-2 day at the plate, which included another home run to take his total to five on the year
Reid Named WAC Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 22): The Western Athletic Conference announced its first Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors, Monday, Feb. 22 and junior Dan Reid has been selected as WAC Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 15-21. Reid, threw 6.0 innings against Missouri in his debut as an Aggie. Reid struck out seven batters and walked one while giving up only one run which was unearned. Reid gave up just five hits in six innings of work.
Preseason All-WAC: NM State was selected to finish second in the 2010 Western Athletic Conference regular season in a vote by the league's head coaches. The coaches also voted senior Jared Jordan and sophomore Scott Coffman to the preseason all-WAC team. The Aggies received 27 points and one first place vote after finishing the 2009 season with a 44-17 overall record and a 12-12 conference record. NM State finished the season losing in the championship game of the WAC Tournament to Fresno State, which was picked to win the league once again this year.
Jordan was selected as the preseason all-WAC utility player after he was 7-3 on the mound with 53 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings pitched. He also hit .365 in 2009 with six doubles, five home runs and 20 RBI. Coffman was selected by the league's coaches as one of two relief pitchers on the preseason all-WAC team. As a freshman, Coffman made 26 appearances and posted a 3-0 record with a 2.14 ERA. He picked up 29 strikeouts in 21 innings and also earned one save.
Sodders on 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate List: After being named to three Preseason All-American teams, senior Mike Sodders was named one of 30 NCAA student-athletes from across the country to be named as a candidate for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award as announced, Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Sodders, who led the Western Athletic Conference with a .422 batting average on an injured knee, carries a 3.0 grade point average and is on track to graduate in December of 2010 with a degree in business management and marketing.
To be eligible for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Sodders Earns All-American: Mike Sodders earned a spot on the 2010 PING!Baseball Preseason All-American team, which was released Monday, Jan. 11. Sodders, a second team selection by PING!Basebball, now has three preseason honors after he also earned spots on the NCBWA All-American team and after he was named to the 2010 Louisville Slugger All-American team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (CBN). He is the first Aggie to ever be named to multiple preseason All-American teams.
Sodders is the first Aggie to be named to the PING!Baseball Preseason All-American team and the second to make an PING!Baseball All-American team as former Aggie slugger Joseph Scaperotta earned second-team honors after a good season in 2008.
Record Breaking Season: NM State broke a total of 16 team records and five individual records during the 2009 season. One of the most unusual records broken this season came on May 2 when senior Justin Lucero was hit by pitches four times. On multiple occasions an Aggie had been hit by pitches three times in a game, but Lucero was the first to be hit four times as the Aggies won 19-9 with Lucero crossing the plate three times. An unexpected record was also broken this season when the Aggies set the record for the number of strikeouts in a game. Four Aggie pitchers combined for 20 K's in a 12-11, 13-inning win over Houston-Baptist at Presley Askew Field, May 1. Right-hander Daniel Reyes led the way with six Ks in three innings, while starter DJ Simon had five. Reliever Scott Coffman contributed with four, while freshman Justin Cooper helped the cause with three and Erik Nyquist added with two. The previous record at NM State was 17 strikeouts against No. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette, March 26, 2005.