Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
SEATTLE, WA - The New Mexico State baseball team wrapped up the season series at Seattle U on Sunday afternoon in Bannerwood Park. The Aggies swept the series against the Redhawks with a 6-4 win to close out the weekend.
How it happened
In game three of the series, left-handed pitcher Jonathan Groff got the start against the Redhawk southpaw Nathan Bonck. The Aggie bats got working early as Dan Hetzel lined a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give the team a 2-0 lead in the first.
After L.J. Hatch was hit by a pitch in the second, Mason Fishback came up to bat and mashed a two-run bomb to add a pair of runs to the Aggies score as they led 4-0 through two frames. The opponent then closed the gap with a two-run home run of their own in the bottom of the third.
Ahead 4-2 in the fifth inning, the team wore away at the SU reliever through contact as they got on base with three straight one-out knocks. The third hit of the inning saw Tristen Carranza register an RBI single to put the Aggies out in front 5-2.
The fifth and sixth innings ended with the bases loaded for NM State as they could not add to their total. Groff was able to put the Redhawk batters down one-two-three in each those innings to hold the lead.
The Aggie bats went silent in the seventh with their first one-two-three inning of the game. Seattle U then threatened in the bottom half. After back-to-back singles for the opponent, Groff walked a batter to load the bases with two outs. After a mound visit, the hurler calmed down and forced the next batter to fly out to right and end the inning unscathed.
Matthew McHugh then came in in relief at the start of the eighth inning as the senior made easy work of the Redhawk batters, three-up and three-down on nine pitches.
In the ninth inning, Mason Fishback added some insurance to the team’s lead with a two-out RBI double. McHugh then came back out to pitch but allowed two runs to cross the plate and with two outs in the inning the game-tying run sat on second.
Aggie reliever Dalton Shalberg then came to the mound. The senior walked the first batter to load the bases and head coach Brian Green brought in the big right-handed closer Ruger Rodriguez to face the Redhawks number three hitter Aaron Stroosma. With three pitches Rodriguez got Stroosma to strike out swinging and secure the 6-4 win for NM State.
After the contest, Jonathan Groff picked up the win and moved to 3-4 on the year. Ruger Rodriguez earned the save to give him five this season.
NM State finished the game with 10 hits, led by Dan Hetzel who went three-for-three with a home run and two RBI. Mason Fishback added two hits with a double and one home run on the day.
The victory moves the team to 17-12 on the year and 3-0 in Western Athletic Conference play. Next up for New Mexico State is a home-game against No. 4 Texas Tech on Tuesday, April 4 at 2 p.m. MT.