bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Ward Interview :: 02/23/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the opening four games, you start out 4-0 with three wins over Houston Baptist and a win over New Mexico.
Rocky Ward: It's a nice start. We haven't played great baseball but we've been good enough with all the returning guys playing outstandingly. Aguayo, Starkes, Hipp have been All-Stars and Fisher is coming on a little bit. Voight and Karraker have solidified themselves. We're still having a little trouble getting performance out of left field and DH but that'll come. It's just very unusual for us.

I'm just really really pleased with how good of leaders our returning guys have been. We've gotten solid pitching performances out of our returning guys. We're still struggling a little bit in the pen but not terrible. Reid, Mack, Beck and Ross all four had good solid outings. It's still difficult in college baseball getting games closed out. The Houston Baptist game on Saturday, we gave up a bunch of runs late and really didn't play well but still won. Young kids are getting outs for the first time.

Last night was a little bit different. Voight 's made three errors so far which has been really a surprise to everybody because he's been as surehanded as anybody on the club so that's good. When he's making mistakes and we're winnings we're okay. Last night we had the game in hand at 12-2 after we put up the big number and then gave them some momentum because Zach didn't make a play. They're a Division I team, they're really new. They've got a bunch of new guys. They're not necessarily young but they lost a lot of key people and so they're searching for their identity a little bit. They'll still end up being a pretty good club I think.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Parker Hipp Becomes An Offensive Threat For Aggie Baseball

Written By: Kyle Purcell, For NM State Media Relations

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Sophomore Second baseman Parker Hipp showed in the first four games of the 2011 baseball season that he could be one of New Mexico State's bright young stars.

Hipp was named Western Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week for the week of Feb.14-20 after he was 6-for-11 with six RBI and five runs scored. He hit two doubles, a triple and one homerun in a sweep of Houston Baptist.

In a 13-8 win over the University of New Mexico, Hipp added another home run and brought his batting average to .571, the highest on the NM State baseball team. Hipp only hit one homerun all of last year.

"I've learned over the past few months to be more of a power hitter," Hipp said. "Coach wants more of that out of me this year."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 02/24/11

Bad loss last night for the Aggies. Plain and simple. There's no way to sugarcoat what happened last night. The Aggies were outhustled by the Spartans and Adrian Oliver was Adrian Oliver scoring 36 points and taking over in the second half. The Aggies got another solid night from Tyrone Watson who appeared, along with B.J. West, like the only players on the court who were in the game both mentally and physically. Troy Gillenwater had a quiet 18 points and aside from the late three in regulation that temporarily gave the Aggies a one point lead, he struggled most of the night to find looks and was a non-factor (in front of the NBA scouts in attendance no less).

The loss by the Aggies hands Utah State the outright regular season title and also puts the Aggies in jeopardy of falling out of second place. They are currently a half game ahead of Nevada for second place (remember that Nevada defeated the Aggies earlier this season and at the moment holds the head-to-head tiebreaker). The Aggies are off to Hawai'i where a win is definitely not a foregone conclusion, especially if the Aggies play another lackluster game like the one witnessed last night.

Hawai'i will be extra motivated in their final four games. They have arguably the easiest final four stretch as they take on LA Tech and New Mexico State at home and then finish on the road at San Jose State and at Fresno State. Four wins would almost certainly give them a top four finish and first round bye. Boise State finishes at Fresno State, at Nevada and then home against San Jose State. Idaho has a tough stretch starting this week at Nevada and at Utah State and then home against SJSU while the Aggies finish at Hawai'i and then home against Utah State and Nevada. Nevada finishes at home versus Idaho and Boise State and then at LA Tech and at New Mexico State.

Second place is still up for grabs and it could all come down to the final game of the season but the Aggies definitely did themselves no favors by losing last night and they can ill afford another loss on Saturday. A 2-2 finish may not be enough to secure second place and that all important double-bye.

The Aggie women's basketball team can still finish in the top four in the standings if they win out. That road starts tonight on the road at Utah State. The Aggies defeated the UtAgs earlier this season is a very close game at the Pan Am.

USU has been playing well and sits in third place in the standings just ahead of Nevada and have won six of their last seven games since losing to the Aggies.

The big question tonight for the Aggies (aside from who will actually suit up) is can they overcome their mental and physical fatigue? The Aggies are wrapping up a stretch where they will have played seven games in 19 days. The longest stretch between games was five days between the LA Tech meetings at the start of the stretch. You kill one day for travel back from Ruston and that leaves three days (not counting actual game day) between games. Since then the Aggies have had no more than three days between games (again, not counting the actual game day). That's a rough stretch for any team but especially for one that is without Camila Rosen, Kelsie Rozendaal and now Kaitlyn Soto. Ten scholarship players remain, two of them freshmen and two of them who are sophomores.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (MT) tipoff and can be heard on KGRT 103.9 FM in Las Cruces with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie softball team is in El Paso this weekend and will face UTEP tonight. The Aggies and Miners square off at 5:00 p.m. (MT) this afternoon.

New Mexico State will be facing a fairly young Miner team who is without their standout player, Stacie Townsend who has thankfully graduated and moved on to bigger and better things. Townsend was a terror for the Aggie pitchers last season finishing the two games with 8 RBIs and 3 home runs. She also shut down the Aggie offense giving up just five runs and striking out 16 in 12 innings of work spanning two complete games (22-5 and 5-0 wins by the Miners).

We're not sure who will get the start in the circle but our best guess is Alex Newman who has emerged as the ace of the staff after the first 12 games.

The Miners still have some quality bats that the Aggies will need to worry about as Chelsea Troupe (.429 BA), freshman Camille Herrera (.429 BA), senior Kia Moore (.385 BA) and Kayleigh Walts (11 RBI) are all swinging hot bats for the Miners and are their leading RBI hitters.

Live stats will be available for the game today via the UTEP athletic website.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Rodolph Interview :: 02/23/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on your 4-2 performance this weekend in the Troy Cox Classic?
Kathy Rodolph: I'm pleased about the weekend. I felt like we won the games we were supposed to win. We challenged well against Oklahoma on Friday night and on Sunday were just outmanned.

bc.net: On Friday, obviously it was a good pitching performance from Keilani Ricketts but your team was able to get to her late and had a couple of chances to tie the game late.
KR: We definitely had runners on but I'm going to tip my hat to Keilani. She was throwing pretty much 70 to 73 mph and had one pitch at 76 mph. That was definitely the hardest throwing of anyone we've seen. I was very proud of our kids because they battled every pitch, every inning. Oklahoma executed a couple squeeze plays that broke it open then we battled back and got on and I was very proud of our battling. I was really proud of Celisha Walker in the circle. When she missed Oklahoma punished her and got some great hits but I was really excited about her composure and being able to come out and face a Top 10 team and keep us in the ballgame for a long time.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggies Stumble At San Jose State In Overtime 72-70

The New Mexico State men's basketball team's quest for a second place finish took a hit as they lost 72-70 in overtime to San Jose State on Wednesday night. Troy Gillenwater scored a team-high 18 point but was outplayed most of the night by Adrian Oliver who finished with 36 points in a battle of the league's top two scorers.

The Aggies trailed the majority of the game as they fell behind early 8-4 after a dunk by Will Carter and a layup from Justin Graham. The Aggies tried the game at 8-8 after a three pointer from Gordo Castillo but the Spartans would retake a three point lead at 15-12 as Adrian Oliver was fouled while shooting a three pointer and he would make the three free throws. The Aggies would fall behind by seven at 24-17 after a Calvin Davis layup with 10:11 left in the half but would go on a 10-2 run to take a 27-26 lead after another Gordo Castillo three pointer. SJSU would quickly retake the lead on a layup from Matt Ballard and the Spartans would stretch their lead back to six on a layup by Oliver. The Aggies would get a layup from Hernst Laroche to cut the Spartans' lead to 35-33 right before halftime.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Spence Interview :: 02/23/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the past four game homestead, aside from the Hawai'i game you played fairly well, unfortunately your team was only able to come away with one win.
Darin Spence: The crazy thing is, here's the thing that sticks out to me the most. We're the only team in the league that had to play Louisiana Tech back to back like that. It's tough. We got up twice, competed really hard against them, especially the home game and gave ourselves a chance. I saw that letdown, just the emotional letdown coming when we played Hawai'i. We had beaten them by 20 points at their place. I saw it coming. That's one of those deals where the conference schedule wasn't very kind to us. I don't want to say we're not tough enough, but that's been the one concern I've had about our team all year long was our overall mental toughness. When you come out flat like that it's even moreso draining to keep plugging away. We even took a late lead in the Hawai'i game but I just think bouncing back off that LA Tech game just really took a lot out of us and we played flat. I thought we did a good job of picking it back up and taking care of San Jose and we turned right around and had to play Fresno State. There hasn't been a team in the league that played that kind of a stretch like we just played. I wish we could have pulled out one more win but we didn't. We've got a very drained, very emotionally beat up basketball team right now. Not to mention looking back at all the injuries. Going into the Fresno game, Kaitlyn Soto ruptures something in her calf muscle and Fresno State is not the team you want to go into when you're short on guards. We fought it, we hung in there and really competed but they're a better basketball team. All-in-all it's just an emotionally drained basketball team. That stretch was really really tough.

bc.net: That being said, you're still in a position where if you win the last four games you will almost certainly finish in the top four in the standings.
DS: Yeah, we've got a chance. That's pretty much all we can ask for and all we've been working for, to try to get in that top four. We would obviously need to take care of our business and obviously need a little help from some people but we've got four very tough basketball games. At Utah State, they've been playing very very well as of late, we beat them but our team hasn't shown great bounce back the second time we've played a team that we've beaten so that'll be an interesting game there. Utah State is probably playing as good as anyone in our league right now and they play such a different style that you don't see. We handled it pretty good in stretches the first time we played them so we'll see.

Nevada, they've got things going and they're playing at a pretty high level and both of those teams are trying to finish in third and fourth also. Those two are kind of in the driver's seat for the third and fourth spots.

Then we come back with Idaho and Boise State. We haven't had a whole lot of success against Idaho lately and Boise who will be trying to get into the tournament so everybody's got something to play for including us. It's a tough four game stretch.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 02/23/11

The Aggie baseball team clocked the Lobos yesterday 13-8. It was actually a tight game heading into the sixth inning but New Mexico State scored 10 runs from the sixth through the ninth innings including a seven run explosion in the top of the eighth when they took a 12-2 lead. The Aggies still have a little work to do closing out games but it's clear that the new bats aren't hampering the Aggie offense like their opponents hoped they would.

Up next for the Aggies is a four game series with Buffalo. It will be the opening series for the Bulls. Buffalo was picked to finish sixth in the East Division of the Mid American Conference.

The Aggie men's basketball team is back in action tonight as they attempt to bounce back from their loss on Saturday night in the Bracketbusters. The Aggies need four wins to close out the season in order to secure second place in the league standings and a bye into the semifinals of the WAC tournament.

San Jose State has played up and down all season but is coming off a 16-point blowout of the third place team in the Big Sky in Weber State (the Aggies lost to the second place team in the Big Sky). SJSU will be with the services of Adrian Oliver this time around. Oliver did not play in the first meeting in Las Cruces after suffering concussion-like symptoms.

Adrian Oliver is the top scorer in the league and third leading scorer in the country behind some guy named Jimmer Fredette (you may have heard of him). While Oliver may be the leading scorer, Troy Gillenwater is right behind him. In fact, the duo owns the top seven individual scoring performances this season. Oliver has scored 42, 35, 35 and 34 while Troy has scored 34, 33 and 32.

One interesting note is that Oliver's 42, 35 and 35 point performances all came at home and the Spartans are 4-0 in those four performances we just mentioned. Troy's three top scoring performances have come twice at home (34 and 32) and once on the road (32) but the Aggies are just 1-2 in those three games.

SJSU leads the league in scoring at 73.9 points per game, is the best free throw shooting team in the league at 74.7 percent and turns the ball over just 11.4 times per game. The upside for the Aggies is that SJSU is allowing 73.9 points per game this season and with the Aggies averaging 72.7 points per game, it should be a high scoring affair.

Tonight's game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m (MT) tipoff and can be seen on ESPN2. Radio coverage will be available via the Aggie Sports Network with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

AggieVision :: Madison Spence Profile

AggieVision :: NM State Football Success Fund

AggieVision :: Houston Baptist Series Recap