Gonzales hits five home runs in Aggies’ doubleheader sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne

NMSU

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Five home runs in one day.

Nick Gonzales put on a show Saturday afternoon at Presley Askew Field, clobbering five round-trippers in NM State’s doubleheader sweep of Purdue Fort Wayne.

The junior infielder hit two dingers in game one’s 19-5 triumph before cranking three, including an inside-the-park grand slam, in the 14-5 nightcap victory.

The Aggies improve to 11-1 overall with today’s two wins. It is only the second time in program history that NM State has won 11 of its 12 first contests, previously doing so in 2009 under head coach Rocky Ward.

HOW IT HAPPENED
Game One
The Mastodons opened up an early 4-1 lead, but momentum quickly shifted after a seven-run second inning by the Aggies.

Ahead 8-4, junior righty Lyle Hibbitts pitched a scoreless third before turning the game over to the bullpen. Senior Aldo Fernandez and redshirt junior Frank Dickson Jr. each worked three innings of relief and combined for seven strikeouts.

NM State’s offense did not stop at eight runs. Two in the fourth, three in fifth and six across the sixth and seventh innings broke the ballgame wide open, as the Aggies extended their lead to 19-5.

Gonzales’ first of two homers in the game came in the sixth inning. He drilled a solo shot to left center before stepping up to the plate again in the seventh and knocking a two-run homer over the wall in right center.

Dickson Jr. earned his first career save after closing out the final three frames with four strikeouts to secure the 19-5 victory.

Game Two
The Aggies were held scoreless through the first three innings before getting on the board with two in the third and eight in the fourth. 

Down 3-1 in the bottom of the third, Gonzales cut the deficit to one with his third home run of the day. He would break the game open an inning later with one swing of the bat.

At the plate with the bases loaded and two out, the Vail, Ariz., native skied a ball to deep right field. The ‘Dons’ outfielder lost the ball in the sun, resulting in an inside-the-park grand slam and giving Gonzales his second round-tripper of the nightcap.

His third home run of the game and fifth of the day came in the seventh inning. Gonzales hit the very first pitch he saw over the wall in right center to put the Aggies ahead, 12-3.

Sophomore righty Chris Barraza, meanwhile, tossed five innings of three-run ball (two earned). He struck out three and did not issue a walk.

Redshirt senior Alex Pinedo and redshirt freshman Joey Arellano combined to throw the final four frames, secure the 14-5 victory and clinch the series win.

COACH KIRBY’S TAKE
On Gonzales’ absurd performance at the plate
“This is Nick’s yard. Special things happen in this place for that guy.”

On looking to finish the series sweep tomorrow
“The guys left in all out on the field like we asked them. These four-game weekends aren’t easy, but they’ll be ready to go in the morning. Hopefully, we can go out, play some good baseball tomorrow and have a chance to get a W.”

UP NEXT
Sunday
‘s series finale is scheduled for 11 a.m. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Arizona, FOX College Sports Pacific, FOX Sports Go App, Comcast New Mexico and WAC Digital.

Adam Young (play-by-play) and former Aggie pitcher Matthew McHugh (color) have the call from Presley Askew Field.

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