CRUCES, N.M. –
One day, two wins.
NM State dispatched the opponent not once, but twice Saturday, sweeping Texas Southern (0-3) in a doubleheader at Presley Askew Field.
Aggies (3-0) won a back-and-forth battle, 10-9, in game one before
cruising to a run-rule 13-2 victory in the nightcap.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Texas Southern wasted no time scoring in the first game of the doubleheader. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 second-inning lead, powered by Roderick Coffee’s third home run in two days.
The Tigers extended their advantage to 6-0 in the top of the fourth, but the Aggies would not go gentle into that good night. NM State responded to the adversity with six runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning and added on three more in the bottom of the sixth to open up a 9-6 lead.
hitting by sophomores Austin Duffy, Kevin Jimenez and Zerek Saenz sparked
the rally before junior Noah Haupt launched his first home run of the year over
the wall in center.
Texas Southern scored three in the top of the seventh to tie the game at nine, but NM State would have the last laugh.
With a runner on first and second and nobody out in the bottom of ninth, the Tigers intentionally walked junior Nick Gonzales to face senior Tristan Peterson with the bases loaded. Peterson then drew a five-pitch walk to give the Aggies the walk-off 10-9 victory.
There was a lot less drama in the night cap, as the Aggies were all over Texas Southern from the jump.
After a scoreless first, NM State scored runs in each of the next six innings. Junior Zach Smits powered the offense, scoring two runs and driving in four on three hits.
Gonzales, meanwhile, continued to show why he is a highly touted prospect. The infielder went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two walks in game two, extending his on-base streak to 69 games and finishing the day with three hits, three runs four RBI and five walks.
junior Jake Baer’s first base knock as an Aggie triggered the run rule, as
he put NM State ahead, 13-2, with a two-run single to left field in the
bottom of the seventh.
Sophomore Chris Barraza and redshirt senior Alex Pinedo teamed up to go seven strong with eight strikeouts. Barraza, a native of Tucson, Ariz., started the ballgame and tossed a scoreless four innings with four punch outs.
COACH KIRBY’S TAKE
On sweeping the doubleheader
“Winning both games of a doubleheader isn’t easy to do. I thought the guys were ready play. They did a great job in that first game after being down 5-0. That’s not easy to come back from and get a win out of. I thought our defense was really exceptional tonight, the pitchers did what they needed to do, and we had some guys swing the bat pretty well.”
On overcoming the early deficit in game one
“There was zero panic on our side. Our guys are really experienced, and they know the yard they’re playing in. They know who they are, so all we had to do was put together some quality at-bats. That’s exactly what happened.”
On tomorrow’s series finale
“Hopefully, we can take care of the ball on defense and string together some quality at-bats.”
The series concludes at noon tomorrow. The contest, originally scheduled for 11 a.m. MT, was pushed back an hour.