The New Mexico State baseball team took on CSU Bakersfield in game two of the three-game series on Saturday at Presley Askew Field. The top-ranked offense in the country bounced back as the Aggies scored in all six innings at the plate, including five multi-run frames, en route to a 23-1 victory in seven innings over the Roadrunners.
On the mound, NM State (16-6, 1-1 WAC) sent out usual Saturday starter Justin Dehn to take on CSU Bakersfield (13-11, 1-1 WAC) right-hander Ethan Skuija. Dehn was cruising early opening up with a one-two-three frame in the top of the first and then the Aggie offense got going at the plate.
In the bottom of the second, Nick Gonzales got on with a base on balls before TristenCarrranza sent a triple off the wall in left to score the first run of the game. Tristan Peterson then began his hot streak at the dish in the next at-bat when he crushed a two-run home run over the wall in center for a 3-0 NM State lead.
Another three-up and three-down outing for Dehn followed in the second and the Crimson & White’s bats expanded upon the lead. A pair of singles got the Aggies first runners on in the bottom of the second before Joey Ortiz sent an RBI single to center. A base on balls followed to load the bases with one out, forcing CSUB to go to the bullpen. The reliever could not immediately escape the jam with Carranza lacing a single to left field that plated two more runs for a 6-0 Aggie lead heading to the third.
Then in the third, NM State got back on the board. Runners stood on first and second with two outs and Ortiz stepped to the plate and laced a single up the middle to score one run that put the home team up 7-0.
The Roadrunners were able to answer in the top of the fourth putting one run up on the board, but that was the closest the opposition would get. In the bottom half of the fourth, the Aggies answered that score with a run of their own when Peterson belted his second homer of the game to give NM State an 8-1 advantage into the fifth.
Strong play at the plate continued when the Aggies had their highest scoring frame in the bottom of the fifth. This opened with an infield single from Ortiz that scored one run and left runners on the corners with no outs. This was followed by another infield single that saw an errant throw bring in the next run of the frame and leave two runners in scoring position. Another pitching change before Carranza stepped to the plate followed and the senior made the reliever pay when he roped an RBI single to left.
Two runners remained on base and the opposition had still struggled to record an out. Peterson continued to produce at the plate with a single up the middle to score a run and give NM State a 12-1 advantage. Two batters later, men stood on second and third when Logan Ehnes sent a single through the right side and a throw that wasn’t handled well advanced the runner to second and saw two runs score. This was followed by an RBI double down the left field line from Braden Williams and the team went around the order for Ortiz to get another RBI base knock giving the Aggies a 16-1 lead after five.
The run production continued with another high-scoring frame in the sixth. Carranza led off the bottom half with a home run over the wall in left to tie the NCAA lead with 12 on the year. Peterson followed this up with a solo homer of his own to give him three on the day, which had also been done in the month of March by Carranza against Delaware.
Still in the sixth inning, NM State had the bases loaded and Eric Mingus knocked a single to right field to score one run giving the Aggies a 19-1 lead. After getting two outs, the bases remained loaded and the Roadrunners went to the pen before Carranza got to the plate once again. The slugger was walked to bring in another run and keep the bags juiced. The scoring closed when Peterson sent a single to the gap in left that brought home two more runs.
Any hope of a monumental comeback were shut down when Dehn came out and only allowed one runner to get on base in a scoreless frame to secure the 23-1 victory for NM State. Dehn (4-1) picked up the win on the mound after tossing a complete game allowing zero earned runs.
At the plate, the Crimson & White recorded 20 hits as a squad led by Peterson who went 5-for-6 with three home runs and seven runs batted in, followed by Carranza at 4-for-5 with a homer and six RBI and Ortiz who went 4-for-6 with four RBI.
The New Mexico State baseball team now looks for the series win in the game three finale against CSU Bakersfield on Sunday, March 24, at 12:05 p.m. MT on Presley Askew Field.