LAS CRUCES, N.M. – And with that, the 2023 season comes to an end.
NM State honored eight seniors and recent graduates on Saturday morning ahead of the season finale against St. Thomas. The joyous ceremony was quickly spoiled, though, as the Tommies ended the Aggies season with a 17-9 loss.
By the bottom of the third inning, NM State had falling into a 13-0 hole. St. Thomas struck for three in the first and two in the second before exploding for an eight-run third inning. From there, the Aggies would respond with eight unearned runs of their own.
Three straight walks by Keith Jones II, Mitch Namie, and Kevin Jimenez loaded the bases without a base hit for the Aggies. Christian Perez broke up the St. Thomas shutout bid with a groundout to second, plating Jones II.
The Tommies no-hit bid came to a close on a leadoff home run by Preston Godfrey in the fourth inning. With back-to-back singles from Jones II and Namie, the Aggies plated three runs in the inning and cut the deficit to ten.
After hitting a walk-off home run on Friday night, Perez once again delivered on Senior Day. The true freshman blasted his team-leading 12th home run to left field in the fifth inning to continue the Aggies run. With the blast, Perez capped off the season with an active 16 game hitting streak – The longest of any Aggies in 2023.
St. Thomas managed to hold the Aggies scoreless in the sixth inning but NM State pushed three more runs across in the bottom of the seventh. Godfrey, a graduating senior, lifted his second home run of the day to straightaway center field. The Glendale, Arizona product finished the day with his third multi-homer game of the season and four runs knocked in.
After 5.0 innings of one-run baseball out of the bullpen by Darius Garcia, the Tommies finally managed to get to the left-hander in the eighth. During his outing, Garcia fanned three without allowing a free pass. In the eighth inning, St. Thomas pushed four runs across to expand its lead to 17-8.
Interim head coach Keith Zuniga gave three Aggie seniors, Cal Villareal, Jimenez, and Will Sierra, the opportunity to be thanked by the home crowd during the ninth inning. Following a strikeout for the first out of the ninth, Damone Hale replaced Villareal in center field, allowing for a standing ovation from the fans at Presley Askew Field. One out later, Noah Karliner entered for Jimenez, giving the senior from Nogales, Arizona the same recognition. Following the ovation for Jimenez, Zuniga turned to Saxon Marr out of the bullpen to replace Sierra on the mound and allowing the Montreal, Québec, Canada native to be honored by the fans.
- With a sixth-inning single, Christian Perez’s hit streak reached 15 games – The longest by an Aggie this season.
- Recent NM State graduate Preston Godfrey recorded his third multi-home run game of the season.
- Keith Jones II reached base four times on Saturday, notching two hits and drawing a pair of walks.
- In his final game, Kevin Jimenez drew three walks, bringing his career total to 131 – Third in NM State history.
- Saxon Marr made his second appearance of the season on the mound and did not allow a hit or run. Marr finished the season with a spotless 0.00 ERA.
- The Aggies finish the season with a 14-37 record, going 9-21 in Western Athletic Conference games
- NM State will not play in the WAC Tournament.