Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
SACRAMENTO, CA - The New Mexico State baseball team began a three-game road series at Sacramento State on Thursday night. The Aggies tied a season-high with five home runs on the night and maintained their unblemished Western Athletic Conference record after an 8-4 win over the Hornets.
How it happened
NM State (22-13, 7-0 WAC) sent Kyle Bradish to the mound to start against Sacramento State (16-17, 3-7 WAC) right-hander Justin Dillon. The Hornets put up the first runs of the game early after a two-out triple scored two in the bottom of the first.
The Aggies responded in the top of the second when LJ Hatch blasted a two-run home run to left center on a 0-1 count which tied the game up.
NM State then came out and added to their lead in the next half inning. With catcher Jason Bush on third, Austin Botello came up to the plate and crushed a two-out home run over the center field wall to put the team ahead 4-2.
Each pitcher held the opposing offense scoreless in the fourth inning. At the start of the fifth, Jason Bush led off with a solo home run to right center. Joey Ortiz then singled, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Then with two outs, Dan Hetzel turned on the first pitch he saw and added two runs with one swing of the bat as the senior hit a homer to left and put NM State up 7-2.
Bradish then made easy work of the Hornets with his first one-two-three inning of the game to end the fifth. In the top of the sixth, the Aggies looked to add to their lead with the bases loaded and two outs. Sacramento State went to the bullpen and brought in their second reliever of the inning who got the strikeout and NM State left the three runners on base.
The opposition cut into the NM State lead in the eighth on a double to right center which brought home a pair of runs and made the score 7-4 in favor of the Aggies. The team responded in the top of the ninth and put one more on the board with a two-out solo shot from Tristen Carranza.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matthew McHugh came back to the mound after registering the final out of the eighth. The senior hurler allowed a one-out base knock, but that was all as he retired the final two batters and secured the 8-4 victory for NM State.
Bradish (6-0) picked up the win over six innings of work, only allowing three hits with six strikeouts. McHugh got the save, his second of the year.
The Aggies finished the night with five home runs and saw seven batters record at least one hit. The production at the plate was led by Hatch with three hits and Bush added a pair.
New Mexico State baseball continues a three-game road series against Sacramento State on Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. MT. The game can be heard on 91.5 FM KRUX with Adam Young on the call.