The New Mexico State baseball team took on Western Athletic Conference foe UT Rio Grande Valley on Saturday at Presley Askew Field. After falling into an early hole, the Aggies could not erase the deficit and fell to the Vaqueros 21-11.
Scoring in game two did not take long with UTRGV (30-16, 15-5 WAC) putting up multiple runs in the top of the first to put NM State (32-12, 14-6 WAC) behind early. The Vaqueros leadoff batter got on and the next man up sent a two-run home run over the wall in left to put the first runs up on the board. The bases were then loaded with no outs when a single up the middle brought home two more runs for the opposition.
Following a strikeout, the Vaqueros saw a base knock to center once again load the bags with just one out forcing the Aggies to go to the bullpen. The relief effort saw the first batter groundout, but that scored the man from third. This left two men in scoring position and a single through the right side brought home both runners to put the NM State deficit at 7-0 after one.
UTRGV got going again in the top of the second that put the Crimson & Whit behind by two more runs. With two men on and no outs, a double to the gap in right field brought home the first runner of the frame. Then with a man on third, an infield groundout plated the next run that saw the Aggies trail 9-0.
In the bottom half of the second, the NM State offense put up its first run. Logan Ehnes reached base and advanced to second on an error by the UTRGV shortstop. Then Tristan Peterson sent a single up the middle to score the first run of the game for the Crimson & White with the score standing at 9-1 into the third.
The scoring continued for the opposition in the top of the third beginning with an RBI groundout. A single to centerfield followed this that brought in two more runs to put NM State in an eleven-run hole, 12-1, into the next frame.
Two more runs went up on the board in the home half of the third when NM State tried to cut into the deficit. With the bases loaded and two outs, a walk brought in the first run of the frame. This left the bags juiced and another base on balls followed to plate the next run and put the lead for the opposition at 12-3.
Following a scoreless fourth, each side got back on the bboard in the fifth. Scoring in the top half opened with a sacrifice fly that plated the first run for the Vaqueros. Then with one man on, UTRGV saw a home run to left put NM State behind 15-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Aggies followed up with a pair of home runs of their own. Joey Ortiz led off the home half with a single to right and Nick Gonzales followed up with a homer to left center to give the Crimson & White five runs. Ehnes then knocked a single through the right side, Peterson then stepped to the dish to belt a homer over the right field wall, and NM State trailed 15-7.
After holding the scoreless in the top of the sixth, NM State added to its total in the next frame. Runners stood on second and third with one out when an infield grounder brought home one run and the deficit for the Crimson & White was 15-8 into the seventh.
Each side added to the board in the seventh inning. This began with a two-run top half for UTRGV after a single through the right side brought home runners from second and third. Then NM State answered when the team has the bases loaded and Kevin Jimenez laced a double to right center that scored three runs and the Crimson & White trailed 17-11 into the eighth.
This was the closest the Aggies would get, however, as the Vaqueros added four runs off of a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly in the eighth and the NM State offense could not respond in the following frame to fall 21-11 in eight innings to UTRGV.
New Mexico State now takes on UT Rio Grande Valley in a winner-take-all series finale on Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. MT on Presley Askew Field.