NMSU Baseball Drops Series Opener At GCU 13-3

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

PHOENIX, AZ – The New Mexico State baseball team opened game of a crucial three game weekend series against Western Athletic Conference foe Grand Canyon on Friday night. After scoring in the first three innings, the Lopes finished the night with runs in six of the eight frames to put the Aggies in a hole they could not get out of and they lost game one, 13-3.

A pair of elite Major League Baseball prospects squared off on the mound with NM State’s (27-15, 11-5 WAC) Kyle Bradish opposite Jake Wong of Grand Canyon (24-18, 11-2 WAC) in the opener. Neither ace was unhittable with early runs getting up on the board for both sides.

Grand Canyon struck first in the bottom of the opening inning. Following a one-out triple, an error at shortstop in the next at-bat brought in the first run of the game for the Lopes. Then with runners on the corners, GCU saw a single to center bring home another baserunner as the Aggies trailed 2-0 through one.

NM State was able to answer with a couple runs of their own in the next half inning. A fielder’s choice forced the first out of the frame but left runners on the corners for the Aggies. Marcus Still then stepped to the dish and lofted a sacrifice fly to centerfield that brought in the first run for the Crimson & White. Nick Gonzales followed that up with a double to left center that scored Mason Fishback all the way from first base and tied the ballgame up, 2-2.

This tie score was short lived when the Lopes retook the lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second. The Aggies were then held scoreless in the top of the third and GCU expanded its lead with a solo homer in the bottom half to put NM State behind 5-2.

GCU was then able to add another run in the sixth when a fielder’s choice saw a throwing error bring in a man from third to put the Aggies down 6-2. NM State hoped to cut into the deficit on multiple occasions, having the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth, but could not advance the runners for scoreless frames.

The Lopes got back on the board in the seventh with a multi-run inning. With the bases juiced, a sacrifice fly brought in the first run for GCU. Then with two outs and two on, Grand Canyon knocked back-to-back RBI singles to center to expand the lead over the Aggies to 9-2.

Following a pair of swinging strikeouts to open the seventh inning, the Aggie bats showed some life. Logan Ehnes proceeded to rope his conference-leading fifth triple to right field. Tristen Carranza then added his first triple of the season, and just second of his career, to score Ehnes and the NM State deficit stood at 9-3 after seven.

The game was closed out in the eighth when a pair of RBI base knocks, a sacrifice fly and wild pitch brought in four runs to give GCU the run-rule victory over NM State 13-3. At night’s end, the Aggie bats were able to produce at the plate with nine hits but struggled to move the runners leaving 10 on base.

Game two of the weekend series between New Mexico State and Grand Canyon is set for 3 p.m. MT on Saturday, April 28.