The New Mexico State baseball team dropped their opening game of the WAC Tournament 9-3 to 3-seed Louisiana Tech on Wednesday night. The Aggies got a solid pitching performance from starter Ryan Beck but in the end they could not overcome four costly errors.
Louisiana Tech jumped in front 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning as Austin Hedges would reach base on a throwing error by Beck on a bunt putting runners on first and second with one out. Clint Ewing would double to score both runners. Beck would then hit Colby Johnson to once again put runners on first and second with one out and Justin Gordey would sacrifice the runners to second and third, however, Beck would get Kyle Roliard to ground out to second baseman Parker Hipp to end the threat.
The Aggies would get a one out single from Tanner Rust in the top of the third and Rust would come around to score on a Tanner Waite single two batters later after being sacrificed to second by Wes Starkes to cut the Aggies' deficit to 2-1.
The Aggies would take the lead in the top of the fourth as Zac Fisher would double down the right field line and come around to score on a Bryan Karraker triple. Karraker would then come home on a wild pitch to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead.
The Bulldogs would threaten in the bottom of the fifth as Gordey would single to center and then Beck would load the bases after walking Ryan Gebhardt and hitting Mark Threlkeld, his second hit batsmen of the game, however, BEck would get Alex Williams to fly out to end the inning.
The Aggies would put together a threat in the top of the sixth as Tyler Forney would single and then steal second with one out. Zac Voight would follow with walk and both runners would advance a base on a ground out to the first baseman by Tanner Rust, however, Wes Starkes would fly out to center to end the threat.
Ryan Beck would once again get out of a jam as the Bulldogs would put runners on second and third with two outs but Beck would strike out Gordey to end the inning.
The Aggies would put the first two men on as Tanner Waite would walk and Parker Hipp would single to right. The Bulldogs would go to the bullpen bringing in Trevor Petersen for Mike Lebreton who had replaced Jeb Stefan to start the inning. Petersen would get Ryan Aguayo to ground into a double play. Waite would advance to third on the double play but would be stranded after Zac Fisher struck out to end the inning.
Louisiana Tech would strike in the seventh as they would get back-to-back singles to start off the inning. That would prompt a pitching change for the Aggies as they would bring in First Team closer Scott Coffman to try to end the Bulldog rally. Coffman would strike out the first two batters he faced but a Ford single would tie the game 3-3. The Aggies would appear to get out of the inning as Coffman would get Aaron Hedges to hit a fly ball to left fielder Tanner Waite, however, Waite would drop the catch allowing two Bulldogs to score putting Louisiana Tech up 5-3.
The Aggies would get a leadoff walk in the eighth but the next three Aggie batters would be retired in order stranding Karraker at first.
Louisiana Tech would deal the final blow to the Aggies' hopes as they would score four runs in the bottom of the eighth after Will Alvis would double to lead off the inning. He would be pinch run for by Corey White who would advance to third on a sacrifice bunt. The Aggies would intentionally walk Kyle Roliard to attempt to set up a double play but Ryan Gebhardt would reach on a bunt to score White from third. Mark Threlkeld would follow with a double to right center to score both baserunners putting LA Tech up 8-3. The Aggies would make a pitching change bringing in Gerardo Renteria who would get a ground out for the second out but allowed a single to Joey Ford and a throwing error by Karraker would allow Threlkeld to score to put the Bulldogs up 9-3.
The Aggies would get a leadoff single from Wes Starkes who would steal second but Waite would foul out to third base and the Aggies would ground out in their final two at bats to end the game.
Ryan Beck took the loss for the Aggies to fall to 10-5 on the season while giving up four runs on seven hits, though just two of the runs were earned. He struck out four and walked just one. Scott Coffman pitched 1.1 innings allowing five runs, four earned while striking out two and walking one. Renteria pitched a third of an inning allowing one hit.
Trevor Petersen picked up the victory for Louisiana Tech as he pitched 1.0 innings in relief and did not allow a hit.
The Aggies now face Nevada at noon (MT) in the tournament's first elimination game.