NMSU Baseball In Extra-Innings At Northern Colorado

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

GREELEY, CO. – The New Mexico State Aggies got going an hour late due to a weather delay in game two versus Western Athletic Conference opponent Northern Colorado on Saturday afternoon at Jackson Field. The second game of the series was not decided in nine innings and it took Joey Ortiz and Trey Stine to drive in three runs in the eleventh to lead the Aggies to a 12-9 win over the Bears.

In a game full of lead changes, NM State (25-14, 10-4 WAC) got on the board first in the opening frame. A fly out to centerfield put runners on the corners with two outs where Tristen Carranza knocked a single to left to bring in the first run of the game. The next batter, Nick Gonzales, then laced a double to the same part of the field to bring home a pair of runs and the Aggies went up on Northern Colorado (21-18, 5-8 WAC), 3-0.

This lead did not last long, however, with the Bears answering in the bottom half of the first. With two on and two out, Northern Colorado sent a double to left to put its first run up and a pair of runners remained in scoring position. This allowed a single in the next at-bat to bring home both men and tie the game up at 3-3.

The Bears again threatened in the bottom of the second when a pair of singles and a base on balls loaded the bags with no outs. This did not faze NM state southpaw Jonathan Groff as he settled down, struck out a pair of batters, and got the final to ground out to second to escape the jam.

Looking to break the tie, the Aggie bats got going with a leadoff double by Caleb Henderson to open the third inning. Logan Ehnes followed up in the next at-bat, turning on the first pitch he saw that traveled all the way to the right field wall and turned into an RBI triple to put NM Stage on top. An infield ground out then brought home Ehnes and the Aggies led 5-3.

Northern Colorado was once again able to erase the lead for the Crimson & White in the bottom half of the third. With two outs and one man on, the Bears saw a home run to left knot the game back up at five apiece.

The Aggies regained the lead in the top of the sixth when Joey Ortiz knocked an RBI single up the middle to put NM State up 6-5. Following a walk to load the bases, Henderson floated a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home another run. Logan Ehnes then capped off the scoring with a double that brought in the final run of the inning and the Aggies led 8-5 through six.

NM State then added to its lead in the top of the eighth. The Aggies had a man 90 feet from home when Henderson sent his second sacrifice fly of the day to center that scored Ortiz from third for a 9-5 lead in favor of the Aggies.

The lead disappeared in the bottom of the eighth when the Bears got back on the board. A wild pitch with the bases loaded brought in Northern Colorado’s first run of the frame. Then the next batter sent a three-run home run over the left field fence to get the game all tied up at 9-9.

Neither side was able to break the tie in a scoreless ninth inning that sent the game into extras. Following a scoreless tenth, NM State looked to end a thrilling second game of the weekend series in the next frame.

Back-to-back walks led off the top of the eleventh before a sacrifice bunt attempt saw the Bears get the force out at third. With only one out and two runners on, Joey Ortiz stepped to the plate and crushed a double to right field that brought in the go-ahead run for the Aggies. Then Trey Stine added a couple insurance markers when he drove in two runs on a single through the left side to give NM State a 12-9 lead.

Brock Whittlesey came back out in the bottom of the eleventh for his third inning of work and the hurler forced a groundout and a double play to secure the 12-9 victory in game two for the Aggies.

At the plate, the Crimson & White combined for 13 hits that saw nine players record a base knock. The Aggie rotation had another great day on the mound combining for 16 strikeouts to give the staff 31 total through two games.

The series-deciding finale between New Mexico State and Northern Colorado is set for 11 a.m. MT on Sunday, April 22, at Jackson Field.