NMSU Baseball Evens Series With Sacramento State With 12-4 Win

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

SACRAMENTO, CA - The New Mexico State baseball team entered John Smith Field for the game two of the three-game series against Western Athletic Conference challenger Sacramento State on Saturday night. After taking the lead on a second inning home run, the Aggies never let go on the way to a 12-4 win over the Hornets.

A pair of California natives squared off on the mound to open the night with NM State (29-11, 12-5 WAC) throwing usual Saturday starter Justin Dehn against Sacramento State (27-15, 13-4 WAC) right-hander Parker Brahms. Each hurler got dinged early with the Hornets getting on the board first.

In the bottom half of the opening inning, Sacramento State saw an infield single put runners on the corners with just one out. Then in the next at-bat, a sacrifice fly was sent to left field to bring in the first run of the game as the Aggies trailed 1-0 into the second.

NM State did not wait to answer putting up its first runs of the game in the top of the second. A Tristan Peterson walk, followed by a Kevin Jimenez double left two runners on for Eric Mingus. Mingus took no time in his first at-bat of the day when the third baseman turned on the first pitch he saw and sent it over the wall in left field for a three-run home run to put the Crimson & White out in front 3-1.

The opposition was able to chip away at the Aggies lead in the bottom of that inning with an RBI single to centerfield. However, with runners on the corners and two outs Dehn was able to get the final batter to strikeout swinging that held the 3-2 lead for NM State into the next inning.

Then in the third, the Aggies added to their lead. Joey Ortiz led off the frame with a double down the left field line before he advanced to third on a fly out to right field. Standing 90 feet from home plate the junior crossed on a wild pitch to give the visiting team a 4-2 advantage.

In the next half inning, the Hornets again answered with a run of their own. The opposition had runner son the corners when a single through the right side scored a run. Sacramento State then looked to tie it up with two runners in scoring position and two outs but Dehn came through to get the final batter to fan on the final pitch for a strikeout and NM State led 4-3 into the sixth.

New Mexico State was able to add to this lead in the top half of the sixth inning. A single and a base on balls led off the frame to get two men on for the Crimson & White. Jimenez then stepped to the plate and laced a single into center that scored one and left runners on the corners. An infield groundout followed to bring home the man from third. The scoring concluded on an error by the Hornets second baseman that plated one more run to give the Crimson & White a 7-3 advantage that lasted into the seventh.

Then in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Hornets looked to chip away at the Aggies lead. A runner stood on third for Sacramento State with two outs when a wild pitch brought in one run. This was all the opposition would get though with the final batter striking out and NM State was still ahead by a score of 7-4.

The Aggies lead then expanded in the seventh. The top half saw back-to-back singles put a pair of runners on, followed by a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch to put men on second and third with one out. Pinch hitter Brenden Williams then stepped to the dish and sent a bloop single into left to score one run. Jason Bush followed up with a sacrifice bunt down the first base line that brought home one more and the Crimson & White held a 9-4 lead.

NM State went on to add a few insurance runs in the top of the ninth. The scoring opened on an RBI single through the left side by Peterson that left two runners on base. Mingus then added to his strong day at the plate bringing home both runners with a base knock to centerfield that put the Aggies up 12-4.

Relief pitching continued to come through in the final frame for the Crimson & White. A fly out, strikeout and groundout completed the one-two-three and secure the 12-4 victory over Sacramento State to even up the series at 1-1.

A great team effort saw Dehn (7-2) pick up the win on the mound after 5.0 innings pitched. At the plate the team was led by Mingus who went 2-for-5 with one home run and six runs batted in, followed by Jimenez at 3-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI.

The New Mexico State baseball team now looks for the series win over Sacramento State in the series finale on Sunday, April 28, at 12:30 p.m. MT on John Smith Field.