LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State baseball team was down 8-4 heading into the fourth inning but got good pitching from the bullpen and came back to defeat Louisiana Tech 11-10 at Presley Askew Field, Friday, April 30.
Starting pitcher Justin Cooper had some trouble in the game but relievers Adam Heredia, DJ Simon and Scott Coffman held their own giving up only two runs in the final five innings of the game. Simon earned the win going 5.0 innings and striking out seven batters. He is now 4-3 on the season, as the Aggies are now 32-12-1 overall and 10-2-1 in league play. The Bulldogs fall to 6-7 in Western Athletic Conference play after the loss.
"The early part of the season was tough on him (Simon)," head coach Rocky Ward said. "He got shuffled to back of pitching staff and he could have given up but he didn't."
The Aggies won putting up 11 runs on 12 hits with senior catcher Jared Jordan leading the way offensively going 2-for-3 at the dish with three RBI and a home run, his fourth of the year. Junior left fielder Chace Perkins and senior designated hitter Leo Aguirre also added home runs taking the Aggie total to 90 on the season.
NM State fell behind 2-0 after one-half inning of play but took its first lead in the bottom of the first after getting RBIs from Perkins, Jordan and senior Wade Reynoso. The Bulldogs scored two in the second and four in the third as NM State put up one in the third and another in the fourth.
Down 8-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth and Simon helping the Aggie defense, NM State chopped away at the lead eventually taking the lead. Jordan got the bats started with a two-run blast to left-centerfield before junior Ryan Aguayo tied the game with an RBI single up the middle. Senior Nate Shaver was on second base when Aguirre singled down the left field line for an RBI, to give the Aggie a 9-8 lead. Aguirre added another run with an RBI single up the middle and Aguayo was on third when Perkins hit a sacrifice fly to right field tying giving NM State an 11-8 lead. The Aggies wouldn't look adding an insurance run off an Aguirre sacrifice fly.
The difference of the game could have been Simon coming in for five complete innings and striking out seven Bulldog batters compared to the Louisiana Tech pitching staff giving up seven walks. The Aggies walked only two LA Tech batters in the game.
NM State will continue the series with Louisiana Tech, Saturday, May 1 at Presley Askew Field. Game one of a scheduled doubleheader is set for a 3:05 p.m. (MT) start. The game will broadcast over the radio at KSNM AM 570.