The New Mexico State baseball team bounced back from a heartbreaking extra-innings loss to in-state rival New Mexico with a 5-3 wire-to-wire victory over future WAC foe CSU-Bakersfield on Wednesday night.
Starting pitcher Casey Collins was solid on the mound for the Aggies as he allowed just three Bakersfield hits through the first seven innings before tiring in the eighth. Collins loaded the bases and walked in a run before being replaced but left the game with a 5-1 lead.
The Aggie offense struck quickly as they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Zac Fisher hit a sacrifice fly to score Bryan Karraker who had singled with one out and stood on third after a Parker Hipp double.
The Aggies tacked on three more runs in the third as Tanner Waite tripled with one out and was brought home by a Karraker double. After a Parker Hipp walk, Zac Fisher grounded out to the pitcher but advanced the runners. Robert Lecount singled through the left side to score Karraker and HIpp giving the Aggies a 4-0 lead.
The Aggies would extend the lead to 5-0 the next inning getting back-to-back one out doubles from Kyle Phillips and Bryce Griffin.
Collins would pitch out of trouble early in the game as he wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second. After getting a pair of ground outs to start the inning, the Roadrunners would get back-to-back infield singles and Collins would hit the next batter to load the bases, however, he would get a fly out to left center to end the inning without any damage. After giving up a leadoff single in the bottom of the third, Collins would record 12 consecutive outs working 1-2-3 innings in the 4th, 5th and 6th. He would allow a walk and a 2-out single in the bottom of the seventh but catcher Patrick McMeel would pick off the runner at first to end the inning.
After loading the bases and walking in a run in the eighth, Collins was replaced by Trey Higginbotham would would record the first out on a strikeout. Randy Montoa would replace Higginbotham and would allow a second run to score on a wild pitch. Montoya would strike out the next batter but would hit back-to-back batters to push across another run. Robert Kraft would come in to replace Montoya and recorded a strikeout to end the threat.
Adam Mott would come in to pitch the ninth and struck out the side giving the Aggies the victory.
Head coach Rocky Ward also picked up career win number 400 at New Mexico State.
The Aggies head to San Jose State to wrap up regular season conference play as they start a three-game series on Friday night. The Aggies can win a share of the regular season title with a series sweep and a Hawai'i series victory over Nevada.