ALBUQUERQUE - The New Mexico State gained momentum in the top of the sixth inning and didn't hold back defeating the University of New Mexico 13-8 at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, Tuesday, Feb. 22.
The scored was tied 2-2 after one inning of play and neither team would score until junior right fielder Bryan Karraker hit an RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning. That would give NM State its first lead since going up 2-0 in the top of the first. Karraker brought in junior third baseman Zachary Voight to start the Aggie rally.
The Aggies scored two more runs in the seventh inning and exploded in the eighth inning with seven runs. The scoring didn't stop their as senior centerfielder Wesley Starkes tallied a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to give the Aggies run No. 13 of the day. Sophomore second baseman Parker Hipp also had a home run against the Lobos, which came in the first inning.
"This was a good win for us and we saw lots of good things from our team," head coach Rocky Ward said.
Sophomore Ryan Beck got the start on the mound for the Aggies and worked a career-best seven complete innings. He finished the day with four strikeouts and walked only one of the 28 batters he faced, while giving up two runs, neither of them earned.
"Beck pitched really solid and he had gotten a lot better. Obviously he is very reliable," Ward said. "He is getting better."
Of the 13 runners that crossed the plate, six got on base with walks. The Aggies finished the day with eight walks and were hit by a pitch twice. Hipp, who was named WAC Hitter of the Week, Feb. 21, had a stellar day at the plate going 2-of-3 with three RBI, three walks and three runs scored. Voight was also pretty good at the plate with three hits, an RBI and three runs scored.
The big eighth inning saw NM State post seven runs on six hits, four of them singles. The Aggies also tallied two walks in the inning and dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move a runner into scoring position. That runner, senior Chace Perkins, would be the first to score in the inning.
NM State struggled to close the game out allowing three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth, but the final score of 13-8 would give NM State a 4-0 start on the year.
The Aggies now look forward to a four-game series against the University of Buffalo, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27. The double-headers start at 1:05 p.m. (MT) each day, while Sunday's double-header can be heard on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570.