Aggie Baseball Falls To Utah Valley 3-2 In WAC Tournament Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

MESA, AZ – New Mexico State (32-22) fell to Utah Valley (35-21) in the Aggies first game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday.

In what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel, the Wolverines managed to get on the board first in the fourth inning. After a pop out to the shortstop to start the inning, UVU drew a 3-1 count walk. After watching the first pitch for a ball, the Wolverines’ Mark Krueger launched a ball to right center for a two-run home run. Marcel Renteria gathered himself and struck out the next batter on three pitches. However, a full count walk and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with two outs. After a pitching change, UVU drove a ball through the right side of the infield, scoring the runner from second. After three innings, the Wolverines led 3-0.

After the fourth inning, the Aggie bullpen was lights out with Dalton Shalberg, Chris Butcher, Tyler Erwin and Joe Galindo combining to strikeout five batters and scatter five hits over the final 5.1 innings.

The Aggies attempted a comeback in the eighth as Daniel Johnson doubled to left center. Greg Popylisen grounded out to second, but moved Johnson to third. Dan Hetzel laced an RBI single to center, scoring Johnson. Austin Botello singled to center, putting runners on first and second with two outs. L.J. Hatch beat out an infield single to third, scoring Hetzel and pulling the Aggies within one run at 3-2. However, the comeback was cut short as UVU got a strikeout to end the inning.

NM State will face off against CSU Bakersfield tomorrow at 12 p.m. MT in an elimination game.