NMSU Baseball Earns #1 Seed in WAC Tournament
The New Mexico State baseball team enters the 2012 Western Athletic Conference tournament this week as the No. 1 seed and will take on the lowest seed available on Thursday at 8pm (MT)in Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. The WAC tournament is a double-elimination tournament so the Aggies will play another game on Friday with the time to be announced at the outcome of their first game.
Media Coverage: All games played by the Aggies in the 2012 WAC Tournament are scheduled to air over the radio waves in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Jeff Matthews giving the play-by-play action. Live stats are available online at NMStateSports.com free of charge and fans can listen to the radio broadcast from anywhere in the world by logging on to the Internet at www.NMStateSports.com for a fee. A video feed will be available for a fee on the Internet at WACSports.com.
Social Media: Fans can keep up with score updates and other information by logging on to Twitter@NMStateAggies. Fans can find out about promotions and everything else Aggie by going on Facebook @NMSU Athletics.
Ticket Information: Advance tickets for this year's tournament can be purchased online at WACSports.com or by downloading online. Tickets are $30 for an all-session pass including access to a guaranteed 10 games. On day of game, tickets may be purchased at the Mesa HoHoKam Box Office located at 1235 N. Center Street, 480-644-4451. Food and beverages will be available during the tournament. See the complete tournament schedule, featuring both afternoon and evening game options.
About the Aggies: The NM State baseball team earned a share of WAC regular season champion. The Aggies wrapped up the season by finishing off San Jose State, Sunday afternoon, winning 15-2 in a run-rule shortened seven inning game. It's the Aggies' first regular season championship in program history.
The Aggies hope that earning a regular season championship and having a successful non-conference season against a tough schedule will help in earning an NCAA Regional bid.
Sunday's championship clinching win was also important for several other reasons. First and most importantly is it gives the Aggies a first round bye and an extra day of rest. This is an Aggie ball club that has played eight games in the last nine days with just two days off (Monday and Thursday). The Aggies' pitching staff and in particular senior closer Scott Coffman (9.1 IP in that stretch) could use the rest.
In winning their share of the regular season title the Aggies played just about as well as they could have played. In four games in California (including the non-conference tilt against CSU-Bakersfield) the Aggies did not trail at any point in the four games and they led for 32 of the 34 innings they played with only the first two innings yesterday being the exception (0-0 tie through two). If anyone thinks that the Aggies backed into their title they are sorely mistaken. The Aggies had to do one of the most difficult things in baseball and that is to sweep a road series in conference play. They had to win when everything was on the line.
After a three-week battle that saw the Aggies lose nine out of ten games, New Mexico State very well may be the hottest team in the league heading into the tournament. They've won four in a row and five out of their last seven games and some of the players that might have been slumping are now suddenly red-hot.
The Aggies won't know their opponent until late Wednesday night. The top seed in the tournament gets the lowest remaining seed in the winner's bracket. They could get one of three opponents, 6-seed Louisiana Tech, 5-seed Fresno State or 4-seed Hawai'i. The one opponent they won't get is 3-seed Nevada. Sacramento State, the 2-seed, will draw the highest remaining team in the winner's bracket from Wednesday's games.
The importance of Sunday's win it gives the Aggies the ability to start Ryan Beck in the first game of the tournament with nearly a full week of rest and then having the option of starting either Adam Mott or Michael Ormseth, who threw only 70 pitches on Sunday.
NM State has had six different WAC Hitter of the Week selections and one WAC Pitcher of the Week selections so far this year. Sophomore Tanner Rust is the most recent selection as he joins junior catcher Zac Fisher, junior centerfielder Kyle Phillips, senior infielder Kurt Snowley, senior outfielder Bryan Karraker, junior designated hitter Cody Edwards and junior left-hand pitcher Ryan Beck.
The Aggies head into the tournament hitting .306 (No. 20 Nationally) on the year and .276 in WAC play. NM State has posted 449 runs (No. 3 Nationally) and 327 walks (No. 1 Nationally). The Aggies are in the top 10 nationally in scoring (No. 3 - 8.2 runs/game), doubles (No. 5 - 124), sacrifice flies (No. 3 - 38) and on-base percentage (No. 4 - .418).
NM State was the 2011 NCAA batting average champion when it posted a .337 average. NM State is 13-3 when playing in Las Cruces and 1-3 on an opponent's field. The Aggies hit .347 at Presley Askew Field and only .220 on opposing team's turf. The Aggies lead the nation in runs scored, walks and RBI. NM State is also in the top five nationally in hits, doubles, on-base percentage and total bases.