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NMSU Baseball Drops High Scoring Affair With Arizona, 14-10 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

NMSU Baseball Drops High Scoring Affair With Arizona, 14-10

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Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

TUCSON, AZ - The New Mexico State baseball team closed out a three-game road stretch in the Grand Canyon State against Arizona on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field. A game featuring the top-two run-producing programs in the country did not disappoint as each squad put up double digits, but the Aggies came up just short falling to the Wildcats, 14-10.

For the midweek clash, NM State (15-5) sent starter Chris Jefferson to the mound to square off against Arizona (13-7) southpaw Andrew Nardi. The start did not last long for Nardi, however, as the Aggie offense came out firing early in the first.

Joey Ortiz got the first base knock in the opening frame, followed by a double to the gap by Nick Gonzales to leave two runners in scoring position. A hit by pitch loaded the bases and the next batter was also plunked to bring home the Aggies first run.

The next at-bat then saw Tristan Peterson lace a single to right that brought home two more runs to put the Crimson & White ahead 3-0. Looking at only 0.1 innings of work for their starter, the Wildcats went to the bullpen to escape the early jam as the Aggies led by three into the bottom of the first.

Arizona was able to cut away at the NM State lead in the bottom half. With runner son the corners and two outs, a passed ball went all the way to the backstop that scored the runner from third for the opposition to put the Aggies lead at 3-1 at the end of the first inning.

After a scoreless top half of the second for NM State, Arizona saw a leadoff home run in the next frame cut into the Aggies lead. Then with a runner in scoring position, a shot to the left side looked to get through and bring home the tying run but Ortiz made a great diving stop and threw out the runner at third to end the second.

Another scoreless top half for the Aggies was capitalized upon by the opposition in the bottom of the third. The Wildcats saw a triple to right center leadoff the frame and then a single to left scored the runner to knot the game up at three runs apiece. Three batters later, Arizona had runners on second and third when a misplayed line ball to left turned into a triple that brought home two runs and put NM State behind 5-3.

Still in the third, the Wildcats had runners on the corners with one out and that forced the Aggies to make their second pitching change of the game. The reliever walked his first two batters to bring in one run. The bases remained loaded when an infield fielder’s choice plated Arizona’s fifth run of the frame. This left two on with two out and a double off the wall in center scored two more runs to put the Crimson & White behind 9-3 at the end of the third.

In a game full of early answers, NM State did just that in the top of the fourth. A leadoff walk, followed by a hit by pitch and bunt single loaded the bases with no outs for the Aggies. Ortiz then crushed a triple off the wall in left field that cleared the bags to score three. Gonzales followed that up by beating out an infield single that added to his NCAA-leading RBI total to put the Aggies down just two, 9-7. Scoring in the top of the fourth closed when pinch-hitter Noah Haupt drove in a run on a single to short and NM State only trailed by one, 9-8.

The bottom of the fourth saw another run put up on the board for the Wildcats. Arizona had a man on second with one out when a single up the middle scored the runners and put the Aggies behind 10-8, a deficit that lasted into the sixth.

NM State got going again in the top of the sixth. The Crimson & White saw a leadoff walk and single to the gap in left put runners on the corners that forced the Wildcats to go the pen. Following a strikeout, the reliever gave up an RBI single to Logan Ehnes that brought the Aggies within one. Peterson then knocked a single up the middle that put one more run up on the board and knotted the game up at 10 runs apiece.

This tie ballgame did not last long, however, as the Wildcats retook the lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning. With two runners on and one out, Arizona saw a ball get sent over the right field wall for a three-run home run and NM State trailed 13-10.

Arizona then added to the Aggie deficit in the seventh. A leadoff base on balls, followed by a balk put a Wildcat in scoring position. The next batter then sent a shallow fly ball single just inside the foul line in left field to score one run and the Crimson & White fell behind 14-10.

NM State hoped to mount a comeback in the remaining three frames it saw at the plate, but that was not the case as the Aggies fell on the road to the Wildcats by the four-run deficit, 14-10. Along with double-digit runs, each side also had double-digit hits with the Crimson & White finishing with 14 and the opposition recording 11.

The New Mexico State baseball team now returns home to open Western Athletic Conference play when the team hosts CSU Bakersfield from March 22-24 for a three-game weekend series at Presley Askew Field.