NMSU Baseball Defeats Northern Colorado 10-3 In Series Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State baseball team opened up a three-game weekend series against Western Athletic Conference opponent Northern Colorado on Friday night. The Aggie offense was red-hot all night and the team had 15 base knocks which led them to a 10-3 victory over the Bears.

How it happened
NM State (24-15, 9-1 WAC) sent starter Marcel Renteria out to the mound to face off against Northern Colorado (15-20, 4-6 WAC) southpaw Karver Pate. After a scoreless first inning, each team’s offense got rolling in the second.

The opposition struck first with a lead-off home run from their No. 5 hitter Brett Minnick. NM State responded in the bottom of the second, beginning with a sacrifice fly by Mason Fishback to tie the game at one. A double to center off the bat of Jason Bush then gave the team a 3-1 lead. Brent Sakurai followed up that at-bat with a double to right center to put another run on the board and a passed ball brought home the final run of the inning and gave NM State a 5-1 through two innings.

Northern Colorado threatened to add to their total in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and only one out in the inning. However, Renteria was able to buckle down and strike out the next two batters to hold the opponent scoreless.

In the bottom half of the fifth, Dan Hetzel led off the inning with a single up the middle and Tristen Carranza then came up to the plate and sent a scorcher over the wall in right center to give the Aggies a 7-1 lead.

The seventh inning saw Bush lay down a sacrifice bunt which advanced the runner from third to put another run up on the board for NM State. Sakurai then had a base knock up the middle which brought Marcus Still across the plate for the team’s ninth run of the contest.

The Bears responded with a pair of runs to open up the eighth inning before Matthew McHugh came into the game in relief to hold the Aggies lead at 9-3.

NM State shut down any hopes of a comeback after back-to-back doubles in the bottom half of the eighth brought in another run and then Dalton Shalberg came in to close out the game and secure the 10-3 win for the ball club.

A strong offensive night for the Aggies saw the team produce 15 hits, led by Hetzel and LJ Hatch with three apiece, while Sakurai and Bush each added a pair. Marcel Renteria (6-2) picked up the win on the night after throwing seven innings and only allowing one run with nine strikeouts.

New Mexico State baseball now gets ready for their second game of the weekend series on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. on Presley Askew Field.