The Aggie baseball team lost a heartbreaker yesterday afternoon to Nevada. The Aggies trailed 3-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning and had put runners at the corners and failed to score. Nevada then scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to go up 4-1 and it looked like the Aggies might have blown their chance. But the Aggies, in typical Aggie fashion, put together an inning in the top of the eighth that featured back-to-back-to-back home runs. The first bomb was a three run shot by Bryan Marquez, his 18th of the season. The second was a solo shot by Mike Sodders and the finale was a solo shot by Leo Aguirre. The amazing thing about the homers by Mike Sodders and Leo Aguirre is that both players are playing with major knee injuries. Those three home runs put the Aggies up 7-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth and with Jake Wilson coming in to pitch, it looked like the Aggies were on their way to victory. Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way as the Wolf Pack scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to retake the lead 8-7. The Aggies were unable to generate anything in the ninth after hitting into a double play after leadoff hitter Jeff Farnham had reached bases to start the inning.
The Aggies have lost leadoff man Richard Stout for an undetermined amount of time with an oblique injury (strain). Stout sets the table for the Aggie offense as he has a .531 On Base Percentage and had scored a team high, league high 55 runs. That total was also 2nd in the nation heading into this past weekend's games. In addition he has been an outstanding center fielder after making the switch from the infield this season. The Aggie offense has been beset by injuries this season as they lost preseason All-Conference pick Chris Auten, whose offensive production from last season we've talked about throughout the season, Leo Aguirre tore an ACL early in the year, Mike Sodders suffered a serious knee injury and the Aggies lost last year's ace Heath Goin (6-3, 4.85 ERA) to offseason arm surgery (this staff would be hands down the best staff in the WAC and it may still be top to bottom the best staff in the WAC). Despite the injuries the Aggies have a 32-8 record overall, a 7-5 record in conference play, a 4-4 record in conference play on the road, a 10-4 overall record on the road and sit just a half game behind Hawai'i and Nevada for first place with the Warriors coming to Las Cruces for a four game set this weekend.
The Aggies' 4-4 road record on this trip was just three one run losses away from being a phenomenal 7-1 record with one of those losses coming on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th in Fresno and a four run eighth inning from Nevada yesterday. While yesterday's 8-7 loss to split the series is disappointing, there is a lot to be said about the Aggies splitting on the road these past eight games because defending league champion Fresno State went on the road this past weekend to Ruston and got swept by a previously 1-7 Louisiana Tech squad. The Aggies have just one regular season road trip left and that is at the end of the season at Louisiana Tech.
The Aggie softball team is back in action today (yep, that's right a one day break with travel) in Logan as they face off against Utah State. The Aggies are coming off a hard fought sweep over WAC newcomer Boise State. The Broncos gave the Aggies all they could handle this weekend and even though the scores were 8-4, 10-9 and 8-4, Boise State certainly didn't look like a squad that was in their first season of softball. The Aggies' freshman sensation Tiare Jennings set four individual single season records this weekend and was named the Hitter of the Week by The WAC Softball Blog. Jennings broke the single season home run record (previously 13, now 15 and counting), the single season RBI record (previously 45, now 53 and counting), the single season runs scored record (previously 45, now 47 and counting) and the single season total bases record (previously 104, now 109 and counting). She's also on pace to destroy the single season batting average record of .399 (currently batting .424), the single season on base percentage record of .469 (currently .472), the slugging percentage record of .712 (currently .826) and could set the hits record as well. Not to be left out either, senior ace Kim Watson earned her 59th victory of her career and now sits alone atop the record books for career wins.
A couple other leftover thoughts from this past weekend's series against Boise State. We've seen a fair amount of softball either in person or on television and the dugouts for softball teams are fairly vocal in support of their teammates. However, Boise State gets the blue ribbon and several gold stars for their efforts in supporting their teammates. We're not saying we enjoyed it (we definitely did not) but the Broncos had a cheer for EVERY single batter and just about EVERY single hitting situation (including chants for 0-2 pitch counts and 3-2 pitch counts) and it was a constant nonstop chant and cheer session from first pitch to final out for three straight games. Their team manager must pack a lot of lozenges. (Photos from this weekend's series are available.)
Back to the Utah State series, NM State has a chance, if they sweep the next three games, to be in a tie for first place with Nevada at 10-4. On Friday we mentioned the ideal scenario for the Aggies would be a 2-1 series victory by Fresno State over Nevada. The Aggies got that and they got a little help from San Jose State as the Spartans stunned the Wahine and took one of three games in their series. The Aggies' series against Utah State kicks off today at 2:00 p.m. as the girls will play two today and one tomorrow (10:00 a.m. start).
The Aggie women's golf team is in Reno this week as they take on the field at the WAC Championship tournament. The Aggies finished in 2nd last season and are looking to finish the season strong.
On to today's links...
The NM State athletic website recaps yesterday's 8-7 loss to Nevada.
The Nevada athletic website recaps yesterday's game.
Stacy Kaneshiro of the Honolulu Star Bulletin talks about Hawai'i baseball. The Aggies face the Warriors for four games this week.
Korey Middleton of The Round Up recaps the Aggies' record breaking weekend on the diamond.
Aggie Women's Tennis
David Chavez of The Round Up recaps this weekend's women's tennis action.
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