NMSU Baseball Run-Rules Grand Canyon 13-1

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

PHOENIX, AZ - The New Mexico State Aggies looked to bounce back in game two against Western Athletic Conference opponent Grand Canyon on Saturday at Brazell Field. Following a run-rule loss in the series opener, the Aggies returned the favor with a 13-1 victory over the Lopes in seven innings to knot the series up at 1-1.

In the battle of the southpaws, NM State (28-15, 12-5 WAC) started Jonathan Groff on the mound opposite Jake Repavich for Grand Canyon (24-19, 11-3 WAC). Each pitcher seemed to make easy work of the opposing bats in the first two innings before the Aggies began to rattle Repavich beginning in the third.

A double and back-to-back singles loaded the bases to open the top of third inning for the Crimson & White. Logan Ehnes then cranked a ball to the right field fence for a double that brought in the first two runs of the game for the Aggies. Two batters later, Marcus Still laced a single through the right side to bring home one more and put NM State ahead 3-0 into the fourth.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Aggies continued to connect at the plate. With a runner on second, Logan Bottrell knocked an RBI double down the left field line and a fielding error by the outfielder moved Bottrell to third. The next at-bat saw a wild pitch travel near the first base dugout that brought home the runner to put NM State ahead 5-0. Not done yet, the Aggies were able to load the bases with one out forcing GCU to go to the pen and the reliever walked the first batter he faced to give NM State a 6-0 lead through four innings.

Another three-run frame for the Aggies followed in the fifth beginning with an RBI ground out for Trey Stine. Then the next batter, Caleb Henderson, crushed a ball to the opposite field that traveled over the fence in right center for a two-run homer that put NM State ahead 9-0.

Grand Canyon cut into the deficit in the fifth, but it was not enough. With a man on third, a double down the left field line brought in one run for the Lopes but it barely put a dent into the Aggies lead that now stood at 9-1.

Groff and the NM State offense put to bed any hope of a comeback from GCU with the hurler holding the opposition scoreless and the Aggie bats finishing the job in the top of the seventh. With two outs and two on, Henderson laced a double into left center that brought in the first run of the frame. Then Ehnes sealed the win with a three-run no doubter over the right field fence to put the Crimson & White ahead 13-1, a score that stood as the final.

The NM State offense combined for 15 hits and saw five Aggies record multiple base knocks. Groff (7-2) got the win after tossing his second complete game of the season going 7.0 innings, allowing just one run and striking out four.

The rubber match between New Mexico State and Grand Canyon is set for Sunday, April 29, at 1 p.m. MT. Fans can listen to the contest on 91.5 FM KRUX with Adam Young on the call.