Aggie Baseball Claims Series Over Seattle With 7-5 Win

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State (27-20, 15-6) held off a late rally by Seattle U (29-18, 16-5) to clinch the series with a 7-5 win on Sunday. Juniors Dan Hetzel and L.J. Hatch helped the Aggies to victory with two RBIs apiece.

The Aggies got on the board first in the second inning, as L.J. Hatch hammered a solo home run to straight away center on a 1-0 pitch. Trey Stine double to left center. Brent Sakurai scored Stine with a base hit to right, putting NM State up 2-0.

Seattle U cut into the lead in the third, as they got a base runner on a single through the left side. A double to right scored the run, pulling the Redhawks with one run at 2-1.

The Aggies pushed the lead back out in the bottom half, as Austin Botello drew a 3-1 walk. Dan Hetzel moved him over with a base hit through the 5-6 hole. Mason Fishback scored Botello with a single to through the right side of the infield.

Once again the Redhawks pulled within a run in the fourth. On the first pitch to him, Lucas Denney blasted a solo moon shot to right center.

NM State began to pull away in the home half, as Trey Stine led off with a single through the left side of the infield and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brent Sakurai’s ground out to short moved Stine to third. Daniel Johnson brought him in with a double to left center.

The Aggies added an insurance run in the fifth, as Dan Hetzel led off with a base hit through the right side of the infield. A double by Mason Fishback put runners in scoring position. A ground out by L.J. Hatch scored Hetzel, pushing the lead out to 5-2.

NM State continued to score in the sixth, as Daniel Johnson reached second on an E7 and stole third during the next at-bat. Greg Popylisen was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. A ground out by Austin Botello moved Popylisen to second. Dan Hetzel scored both Johnson and Popylisen with a hard hit single straight up the middle, pushing the lead further out to 7-2.

The Redhawks seemed to show some life in the eighth, as a pinch hitter got on with a base hit up the middle. After watching the first pitch for a ball, Chase Ridder launched a two-run shot off the scoreboard in left center, pulling Seattle within three runs at 7-4.

In the top of the ninth, Joe Galindo came in to close out the game. After getting a fly out for the first out, he gave up a single up the middle. A double down the right field line scored the runner, pulling the Redhawks within two runs. After walking a batter on four pitches, Galindo was pulled for Tyler Erwin. With runners on first and second with one out, Erwin worked out of the jam beautifully, inducing a foul out to third and striking out the final batter giving the Aggies the 7-5 win.

With the series win, NM State is now only a game back out of first place in the WAC with six games left in the regular season. The Aggies are back in action this weekend as they travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to face off against North Dakota in a three-game set.