NMSU Baseball Opens Delaware Series With 11-3 Win

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State baseball team opened a four-game weekend series against Delaware on Friday night at Presley Askew Field. In a game that saw five home runs and scoring in the final six innings for the home squad, the Aggies walked away with an 11-3 victory over the Blue Hens.

For the series opener, NM State (8-2) sent out regular Friday night starter Brock Whittlesey to take on Delaware (0-7) southpaw Brandon Walter. Each hurler brought their best stuff early on tossing a pair of scoreless frames to open.

Then in the bottom of the third, the Aggie offense got on the board. With one out, sophomore slugger Nick Gonzales belted a solo home run to left field for the first run of the game. The next at-bat then saw Tristen Carranza follow up with a solo home run of his own for back-to-back shots that put the team’s lead at 2-0.

Delaware was able to respond in the top of the fourth to get its first runs up. The Blue Hens saw the frame lead off with a triple to centerfield. Then the next batter sent a ball over the right field wall to knot the game up at two apiece.

NM State erased this tie ballgame when the team retook the lead in the bottom half of the fourth. Eric Mingus got on with a base on balls before the speedster stole second to get into scoring positon. Logan Bottrell then scored the runner with a single to left for a 3-2 Aggie lead.

The Crimson & White added to this lead in each of the following frames. Carranza added to his home run total with a solo shot to give NM State a 4-2 lead through five. Then in the sixth, the Aggies used a sacrifice bunt and an infield groundout to get the lone baserunner to third. Standing 90 feet from home, the Aggie crossed the plate on a balk that gave the team a 5-2 advantage.

Looking to expand the lead, the NM State offense got rolling again in the bottom of the seventh. With one man on, an error on an attempt to throw out the man going to second left two runners on and only one out. Tristan Peterson proceeded to send a three-run home run to right center that put the Aggies up 8-2.

Not done yet, the Crimson & White added a few insurance runs in the eight. Mingus led off the frame with a double to left center before he scored on a two-out RBI single by Gonzales. Then looking to etch his name in the record book, Carranza stepped to the dish and blasted a two-run homer to left for an 11-2 Aggie lead. The third home run of the senior’s day tied the program single-game record and made him the first to do so since Chace Perkins on March 16, 2010.

The Blue Hens hoped to mount a comeback in the ninth, but could only put up one run in the final frame to give the Aggies an 11-3 win in the series opener. Whittlesey (3-0) picked up the victory on the mound after tossing 8.0 innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts and zero walks.

On the offensive side NM State combined for 13 hits, led by Carranza who went 3-for-4 with three home runs and four RBI, Peterson who added a 2-for-4 night with one homer and three RBI and Gonzales who went 2-for-4 with a solo bomb and two RBI.

The New Mexico State baseball team now gets set for a doubleheader with Delaware opening at 1:05 p.m. MT on Presley Askew Field.