NMSU Baseball Sweeps Utah Valley

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

OREM, UT - The New Mexico State baseball team closed out its weekend series in Utah Valley on Sunday afternoon. The offense kept rolling and the pitching was superb in the finale allowing the Aggies to shutout the Wolverines, 6-0, to get the series sweep.

How it happened
Southpaw Jonathan Groff got the start for NM State (30-19, 14-4 WAC) against Utah Valley (15-30, 8-10 WAC) freshman hurler Paxton Schultz. The game opened unlike the previous two with the pitchers throwing two scoreless innings to open the contest.

In the top of the third, Brent Sakurai led off with an infield single. Dan Hetzel then mashed a home run just inside of the left field foul pole with the man on to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead early on.

Groff continued to dominate on the mound throwing back-to-back one-two-three innings through the fourth to hold the team’s two-run edge.

At the top of the fifth inning with one out, LJ Hatch turned on a 3-2 delivery and cranked a solo home run over the wall in left. Austin Botello then had a base-hit to right field and Hetzel roped a triple to left center to score Botello in the next at-bat. The team made it a three-run inning when Marcus Still connected on an infield RBI single to give the Aggies a 5-0 advantage.

The Wolverines went to the bullpen in the sixth and the reliever put the Aggie batters down in order. In the bottom half, Groff answered and tossed his third one-two-three inning of the day to keep the opponent scoreless through six.

At the top of the seventh inning, Austin Botello led off with a solo blast to the opposite field to make the team’s lead 7-0. The Aggie starter continued to pitch well throwing another three-up and three-down inning that took only five pitches.

The final two innings were quiet for both teams offensively. Groff finished the game retiring 14 straight batters to secure the 6-0 win and series sweep for the Aggies in a complete game shutout.

Picking up the win, Groff (7-5) tossed the first complete game shutout for the Aggies since Ryan Beck did so on May 4, 2013 against San Jose State. Offensively, the squad recorded 11 hits with three home runs. Dan Hetzel led the way with three hits and three RBI as the senior was just a single shy of the cycle.

The Aggies stay on the road next week with a three-game weekend series against WAC opponent Chicago State, May 12-14.