NMSU Baseball Takes Game Two At Chicago State 10-4

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

CHICAGO, IL - The New Mexico State Aggies baseball squad took on the Chicago State Cougars in the second game of the weekend series on Saturday afternoon. The Aggie bats were quiet early but came to life with back-to-back four run innings and the team went on to take down the Cougars, 10-4.

How it happened
NM State (32-19, 16-4 WAC) sent Marcel Renteria to the hill to face off against the southpaw Grant Trower for Chicago State (11-37, 7-13 WAC). Despite the Aggies leaving one runner stranded in the first two innings without registering a run, Renteria put down the first six batters he faced to hold the game scoreless.

In the third, the opposition threatened with runners on the corners. However, an attempted pick-off at first then led to a rundown at the plate with the baserunner on third and the man was tagged out to end the inning.

Chicago State went on to strike first in the bottom of the fourth after a ground-rule double brought in the man from third base and put NM State down 1-0.

After a scoreless fifth inning, the Aggie bats came to life in the sixth. LJ Hatch led off the inning with a blast over the left field wall, on a 2-2 count, to tie the game up at one. Then with men on first and second and two outs, Marcus Still hit a towering shot to left for a three-run home run which put the Aggies up 4-1.

The NM State offense continued to roll in the seventh. Two walks and a bunt single loaded the bases with no outs for Austin Botello who knocked a triple into the right field corner to bring home all three baserunners. In the next at-bat, Dan Hetzel scored Botello on a sacrifice fly to left field which gave the team an 8-1 lead.

Chris Butcher came to the mound in the bottom of the seventh. A wild pitch with two men on, followed by a single to centerfield plated two runs for the opponent. Another base knock put two men on with only one out and the Aggies brought in Matthew McHugh who escaped the inning to hold the team’s 8-3 edge.

Each team went down one-two-three in the eighth and then the Aggies looked to add some insurance in the ninth. A lead-off walk for Hetzel was followed up by a ball crushed to the centerfield wall for an RBI triple by Mason Fishback. Tristen Carranza then had a base knock to left which scored Fishback and gave NM State a 10-3 lead through eight and a half.

Dalton Shalberg came to the mound in the ninth and after giving up a two-out solo homer, the hurler then closed the door and got the final batter to strike out swinging as NM State walked away with a 10-4 victory.

Renteria (7-2) was credited with the win after 6.0 innings of work and only allowing one run with six strikeouts.

Carranza finished the contest with a team-high three hits, followed by Sakurai, Botello and FIshback with two. Botello and Still led the squad with three RBI apiece.

New Mexico State takes on Chicago State in the series finale on Sunday, May 14, at 11 a.m. MT.