The Aggie baseball team defeated No. 5 Arizona 7-4 yesterday in Tucson and in doing so notched their first win over a ranked team this season and their first win over a ranked team in a couple of seasons (we think the last win came against a nationally ranked Hawai'i club a couple of seasons ago) and it's definitely the highest ranked opponent the Aggie baseball team has defeated in the time we've been covering New Mexico State sports.
Casey Collins continued the Aggies' string of solid starting pitching as he allowed just three earned runs in 5.0 innings (one unearned run) but it was the Aggie offense that finally broke through taking advantage of three Arizona errors in the top of their eighth inning to go up 6-4. Kurt Snowley started the inning with a single and then Cody Edwards followed with what appeared off the bat to be a taylor-made double play ball but the Wildcat shortstop couldn't handle the ball and everyone was safe. Tanner Waite then bunted and the Arizona defense booted the ball around the field allowing both Snowley and Edwards to score and Waite to advance all the way to third on the bunt.
The Aggies then added an insurance run in the top of the ninth and Robert Roher pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the save.
The Aggies had tied the game in the top of the seventh and appeared to be ready to blow the game open with the bases loaded and just one out but grounded into a double play to end the inning. It was big for the Aggie defense to hold Arizona scoreless in the bottom of the seventh as the momentum was threatening to swing from the Aggies to the Wildcats after the defensive escape by Arizona.
The Aggies and Wildcats take the field again today at 4:00 p.m. (MT) and with the Aggies' ace Ryan Beck on the hill, the Aggies have an excellent chance at picking up a two-game sweep.
The Aggie softball team is also in action in Tucson as they head to Hillenbrand Stadium to take on No. 14 Arizona. The Aggies have been oh-so-close to beating the Wildcats at home but haven't fared so well in Tucson.
Arizona is riding a nine-game winning streak while the Aggies are coming off a win over a ranked opponent last week in their 8-6 victory over then No. 23 New Mexico. The Aggies will have their hands full both at the plate and in the circle as the Wildcats come in batting .320 while having a team ERA of just 1.58.
The Wildcats are averaging nearly seven runs per game this season and have hit 30 home runs this season. The Aggies have hit 26 home runs as a team, however, the young pitching staff has struggled giving up 40 home runs.
The doubleheader is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. (MDT) first pitch with Live Stats available via the Arizona athletic website.
The Arizona athletic website recaps the Aggies' win.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star previews today's doubleheader.
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