The New Mexico State baseball team closes out its road trip in the Grand Canyon State with a midweek matchup against Pac-12 challenger Arizona at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz. on Tuesday, March 19, at 8:05 p.m. MT. This is the first of two matchups during the 2019 season between the Aggies and Wildcats.
Get up to the minute information and news about the NM State baseball team all season on Twitter, and Instagram by following @NMStateBaseball and on Facebook.com/NMStateBaseball.
Live stats for the midweek clash can be followed on Statbroadcast.
WHERE TO WATCH
For fans looking to watch the game, you can catch the contest live on the Pac-12 Network.
Aggies fans who are not able to make it out to Hi Corbett Field can listen in to all the action live on 99.5 FM Zia Country. The game can also be accessed through TuneIn on your phone or tablets. Adam Young is set to be on the call for the contest.
TAKING A LOOK AT ARIZONA
Heading into Tuesday’s contest the Arizona Wildcats hold a 12-7 overall record with a 2-1 mark in conference play. The Wildcats are coming off of a 2-1 series win over Utah that saw the team outscore the Utes 26-7 in the two wins, following a 21-10 loss in the series opener.
Arizona’s offense has combined for a .327 batting average good for fourth in the NCAA with 197 runs scored that puts the team just behind the Aggies for second in the country. The Wildcats also rank second in the country, behind NM State, in on-base percentage at .444 and scoring with 10.4 runs per game.
The opposition’s production at the plate features six regular starters with a batting average over .300 and two sit above .400. This has been led by Cameron Cannon at .449 who also has a team-high 29 runs scored and four home runs with a .756 slugging percentage.
On the mound, Arizona’s staff posts a 4.63 earned run average with 139 strikeouts over 169.0 innings pitched. Wildcat pitchers have held opposing batters to a .281 batting average, allowing 47 extra-base hits with eight homers.
IN THE NATION
19 games into the season the Aggies currently rank in the top-25 nationally in 13 categories, including eight NCAA-leading statistics:
NM State (Rk)
Hit by Pitch
Base on Balls
LAST TIME OUT
The New Mexico State baseball team headed to the spring training facilities of the Chicago White Sox/Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch to take on Xavier on Sunday. A lead built from a five-run fifth inning was enough for the Aggies who held on to get the victory with a 6-4 decision over the Musketeers.
NM State (15-4) sent out usual Sunday starter Chance Hroch to take on hard-throwing Xavier (6-11) right-hander Connor Grammes. What opened as a pitching duel featured four scoreless innings to open saw the Musketeers strand eight runners, including four in scoring position in the first four frames.
Then in the fifth inning, each side was able to get on the board. Xavier opened the scoring in the top half after a walk loaded the bases with one out. The opposition then saw an infield groundout plate the first run of the ballgame.
The Crimson & White answered this quickly in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally. A plunked batter to load the bases was followed by a base on balls, where Joey Ortiz was able to battle in a 3-2 count, which brought home a run and knotted the game up at one apiece. Another walk of Nick Gonzales brought in the go-ahead run for the Aggies.
Some great plate discipline continued for the squad when Tristen Carranza was hit by a pitch to score another run and the bases remained loaded. Xavier then decided to go to the bullpen, but the reliever was not able to get out of the inning when Logan Ehnes beat out an infield grounder for an RBI single and Tristan Peterson was walked to bring in the final run of the frame as the Aggies led 5-1 heading to the sixth.
This lead for NM State was expanded upon in the bottom of the sixth. The Aggies had a runner on second when Ortiz laced a single up the middle to score the man and give the Crimson & White a 6-1 advantage.
After a few runs for the Musketeers, the Aggies took a two-run lead lasted into the ninth and then the team brought in Friday starter Brock Whittlesey to close out the game. The Aggies single-season record holder for saves set in 2018 picked up right where he left off in the closing role as he shut down any comeback hopes for the opposition to give NM State the 6-4 win over Xavier.
At the plate, the Aggies saw their first five batters in the order bring in at least one run, led by Ortiz who went 1-for-3 with two RBI and one run scored. On the mound, the record for Hroch (5-0) remained unblemished as he picked up the win with 5.0 innings of work and Whittlesey earned his first save of the season.
Following the midweek matchup, the New Mexico State baseball team opens Western Athletic Conference play with three-game weekend series against CSU Bakersfield from March 22-24 at Presley Askew Field.