Aggie Baseball Earns Doubleheader Sweep Over Maine

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Aggies swept Maine in Saturday’s doubleheader 7-3 and 3-2.
Junior Austin Botello followed up his three-for-four performance on Friday, going three-for-four with two RBI in the first game of the doubleheader and a two-for-four performance in the second game.

Game One

With Maine scoring one in the top half of the inning, NM State looked to even the score in the home half with L.J. Hatch earning a four-pitch walk. Back-to-back singles to centerfield by Trey Stine and Austin Botello loaded the bases with one out. Dan Hetzel brought home Hatch with sacrifice fly to right, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Tommy Bell reloaded the bases, as he was hit by the first pitch he saw. Joseph Koerper’s two-RBI single up the middle plated Stine and Botello, putting the Aggies up 3-1 after the first inning.

The runs kept coming in the second inning as Daniel Johnson singled through the right side. Hatch put runners at first and second as he was hit on the first pitch. A double steal by Johnson and Hatch put runners in scoring position. Stine loaded the bases as the second hit batter of the inning. Botello earned his two RBI the next at-bat with a single to right center, bringing in Johnson and Hatch. Having given up five runs in an inning and a third, Maine pitcher John Arel came in to relieve starter Jeff Gelinas. However, the pitching change didn’t stop the runs, as Dan Hetzel doubled down the left field line to score Stine. Tommy Bell scored Botello on a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Aggies up 7-1 after two innings.

Arel settled in and proceeded to not give up a run the rest of the game, throwing six shutout innings.

Maine managed to scatter two more runs including a pinch hit home run by Jake Osborne in the top of the seventh, but still fell to the Aggies 7-3.

Game Two

In contrast to the first game, game two was pitcher’s duel with neither team scoring until the fifth inning of a seven inning game.

In the top of the fifth, Maine’s Brett Chappel doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. Kevin Stypulkowski reached first on a E3 by Trey Stine, advancing Chappel to third. Stypulkowski then stole second during the next at-bat. Brenden Geary brought home Chappel with a ground out to short, advancing Stypulkowski to third. Johnathan Salcedo singled to left, plating Stypulkowski and putting the Black Bears up 2-0.

Looking to tie the game, Austin Botello singled to right field to lead off the home half of the fifth. Trey Stine then walked on a full count, followed by Koerper walking on a 3-1 pitch. With the bases loaded and no outs, Dan Hetzel came in to pinch hit for Jaron Balman. Maine pitcher Connor Johnson walked Hetzel, scoring Botello. L.J. Hatch grounded out to second, but scored Stine to tie the game at 2.

Needing a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh, Koerper singled to left, with Greg Popylisen coming in to pinch run. Hetzel singled to left, moving Popylisen to second. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. Looking for a double play ball, Maine intentionally walked Hatch to load the bases. With the game on the line, Mason Fishback hit a walk-off fielder’s choice, scoring Popylisen to clinch the doubleheader sweep, 3-2.

NM State and Maine will face of in the final game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.