The New Mexico State baseball dropped a 3-2 decision to Louisville in the opening game of the Tucson Regional. The Aggies built an early 2-0 lead as Parker Hipp crossed the plate twice, in the first and then again in the third as Zac Fisher hit a single in the first and then reached on an error by Louisville's second baseman to score Hipp.
Ryan Beck was outstanding early as he worked 1-2-3 innings in the first and second and then worked around a one out double in the third. The Cardinals would get on the board in the top of the fourth as Nick Ratajczak would hit a leadoff single and Ty Young would reach after getting hit by a pitch. The Cardinals would bunt to move the runners to second and third and Ratajczak would score on a sacrifice fly cutting the Aggies' lead to 2-1.
Louisville would take the lead in the top of the fifth as they would get a leadoff single from Zak Wasserman. He would advance to second on a wild pitch and then Kyle Gibson would single to centerfield and advance on a throwing error by center fielder Kyle Phillips putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Beck would get a pair of ground outs, the first scoring Wasserman to tie the game 2-2. Ratajczak would hit a 2-out double to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
The Aggies would build a threat in the bottom of the fifth as Bryan Karraker would single to the shortstop and advance to second a wild pitch. Parker Hipp would draw a walk to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Zach Voight would hit a shallow pop up to the center fielder and Zac Fisher grounded into a double play to end the inning leaving the Aggies down 3-2.
Louisville would build a threat in the top of the seventh as Casey Collins took over for Aggie starter Ryan Beck and hit a batter and gave up a double to put runners on second and third with one out. Freshman left-hander Robert Kraft would come in to relieve Collins and would get a pair of ground ball outs to get the Aggies out of the jam.
The Aggies would bring in Scott Coffman in the ninth and he would work an easy 1-2-3 inning to give the Aggies a shot in the bottom of the ninth. The Aggie offense would go down in order in the eighth and ninth ending the game 3-2.
Ryan Beck took the loss for the Aggies going 6.0 innings giving up three runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Justin Amlung picked up the win for Louisville also going 6.0 innings allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. "It was a well played game from a pitching standpoint," said head coach Rocky Ward afte the game. "Both teams had a lot of balls hit hard at people." Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell agreed with the assessment, "It was just a hard-fought game--what you would expect at the NCAAs."
Bryan Karraker finished the day 2-for-4 for the Aggies and Parker Hipp was 0-for-1 but drew three walks and scored both Aggie runs. Zac Fisher finished the day 1-for-4 and drove in both Aggie runs.
The Aggies will take on the loser of the Arizona/Missouri nightcap and will play on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (MDT). The game will be televised on ESPNU.