The New Mexico State baseball team played its four-game series finale versus Texas Southern on Sunday afternoon at Presley Askew Field. The Aggie offense continued to roll in game four with another double-digit run total taking down the Tigers by run-rule, 16-3, in seven innings.
NM State (4-0) veteran hurler Chance Hroch took the mound to open the game against Texas Southern (0-4) freshman Noe Guerrero III. Each pitcher gave up a run in the first, beginning with TSU striking in the top half when the Tigers saw a single through the right side bring home the runner from third to put the Aggies down 1-0.
Then in the bottom half of the opening inning, the Crimson & White struck back. A walk and single to left led off the inning and then Nick Gonzales laced a single off the wall in center to tie the game up at 1-1.
Each pitcher made quick work holding the sides scoreless in the second, before the Aggie bats got rolling again in the third. With one out, a hit by pitch and back-to-back singles loaded the bases. Caleb Henderson then drew a walk to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead. The bases remained loaded and Tristen Carranza drew a walk of his own to bring in another run for NM State.
TSU was in a jam with the bases still juiced and only one out, and then Tristan Peterson roped a double to right center that cleared the bases to score three. Eric Mingus then concluded the scoring in the third with an RBI double to left field that put the Aggies ahead 7-1.
The fourth inning was quiet for both sides, and then the NM State offense had its most productive frame in the fifth. Peterson led off the bottom half with a solo shot over the wall in left field to push the Aggies lead to 9-1. The next batter, Braden Williams, followed suit and belted a homer of his own to left center for back-to-back dingers.
With two runners in scoring position, a walk loaded the bases with still zero outs in the fifth. This forced TSU to go to the pen, but the new pitcher had no such luck in relief. Gonzales was the first batter against the fresh arm and the sophomore wasted no time taking the hurler deep for a grand slam to expand the Aggies lead to 13-1.
Then with runners on first and second, NM State had gone around the order and Peterson got back to the plate and belted his second home of the frame, this time a three-run shot to give the Crimson & White a 16-1 advantage through six. This was the first time an Aggie had two home runs in the same inning since Carranza did so at New Mexico back on May 2, 2017.
In the top of the sixth, TSU looked to cut away at the large deficit. With runners on first and second, a double to center brought home one run to put the NM State lead at 16-2. Then after holding the Aggies scoreless in the bottom half, the Tigers got one more run on the board in the seventh with a solo home run. That would be all NM State would allow, however, as the team closed out the inning and won in seven innings by run-rule over Texas Southern, 16-3.
The Aggie offense saw 15 hits for the team, highlighted by a 3-for-4 day for Peterson who had two home runs and 7 RBI, as well as Gonzales who went 3-for-5 day with one homer and five RBI. On the mound, Hroch picked up his first win of the season for the Crimson & White after tossing 5.0 innings, allowing zero earned runs and striking out six.
The New Mexico State baseball team now gets set for its next weekend series as the team stays at home and welcome the Yale Bulldogs to Presley Askew Field, Feb. 22-24.