The New Mexico State baseball team closed out its regular season at home taking on California Baptist in the series finale on Saturday at Presley Askew Field. After carrying a lead into the eighth inning, the Aggies allowed eight runs over the final two frames and fell to the Lancers, 9-4.
After each side was held scoreless in the first inning, both squads were able to get on the board in the fourth. California Baptist (35-20, 19-8 WAC) recorded the first tally in the top half to put NM State (37-15, 19-8 WAC) behind. The Lancers leadoff batter in the frame and starting pitcher on the day sent a solo home run over the wall in left to put the Aggies behind 1-0.
NM State then answered in the home half of the second with a run of their own. A Tristen Carranza single, followed by a Tristan Peterson walk opened the frame to move one runner into scoring position. Two batters later, Braden Williams brought in the game-tying run with a single into left field putting the score at 1-1 into the third.
In the bottom of the third the Aggies then erased this tie ballgame to take the lead. Logan Bottrell was moved into scoring position on a Carranza hit by pitch and that was all the team needed. Peterson then stepped to the dish and sent an RBI base knock into left giving the Crimson & White a 2-1 lead that lasted into the sixth.
This lead then doubled in the home half of the sixth inning when Tristan Peterson added to his strong numbers on the day. The slugger led off the frame and sent a ball high in the air to left that both Lancer outfielders lost track of in the air and the ball kept traveling over the wall for a solo homer to give NM State a 3-1 advantage.
After a scoreless sixth, the Aggies made a pitching change in the eighth and CBU took advantage. A hit by pitch, followed by a throwing error on an infield grounder left runners on the corners with no outs. The next at-bat saw a single into left bring in the second run of the game for the opposition. This left two men on with no outs and the Aggies brought in the second reliever of the frame.
The new pitcher walked the first batter faced to load the bases with no outs before a single up the middle brought in two runs that put NM State behind 4-3. Leaving two men on with no outs, the Crimson & White again went to the bullpen to escape the jam. A single to load the bags and an RBI single followed to expand the Aggies deficit. After a pair of strikeouts, the Lancers saw a double into left bring in two more runs and the final tally of the top half came off of an RBI single putting NM State down 8-3.
One run followed for the Crimson & White in the bottom of the eighth, but the Lancers answered with one of their own in the ninth. The Aggies were then unable to mount a comeback in the final frame falling to CBU in the regular season finale, 9-4.
The New Mexico State baseball team still claimed a share of the 2019 Western Athletic Conference Regular Season title, the first since 2012, and heads into the WAC Tournament with the number-one seed as the Aggies get the bye and take on the lowest advancing seed on Thursday, May 23, at 8 p.m. MT in Hohokam Stadium.