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Score: New Mexico 7, NM State 4
Records: NM State (11-15, 3-9 WAC); New Mexico (13-16)
Location: Las Cruces, N.M. (Presley Askew Field)
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The NM State baseball team looked to bounce back and even the Rio Grande Rivalry with New Mexico before falling on Tuesday night, 7-4. The Aggies still have a chance to split the season series with their in-state rivals when they head to Albuquerque on May 10 and 17.
The Aggies got on the board with a run in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead in the ballgame. Cal Villareal got the scoring going with a single to the shortstop, scoring Gunner Antillon from third base.
In the third inning, the Lobos struck for three runs on a two-run triple and a sacrifice fly.
The two teams would remain in a holding pattern, maintaining a 3-1 score until the eighth inning. The Aggie bullpen was stellar on Tuesday night as Frank Dickson IV, Cade Swenson, and Brendon Rodriguez combined to keep the Lobos in check for 4.0 innings. The leadoff Lobo in the eighth inning homered to push the score to 4-1 before Hayden Johns settled in.
In the bottom half of the inning, the first three batters of the inning reached for the Aggies on a pair of singles and a hit by pitch. Edwin Martinez-Pagani bounced into a fielder's choice before advancing to second on a throwing error by the second baseman. Both Logan Gallina and Ryan Grabosch scored on the play, bringing NM State back within one. Brandon Dieter plated the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Martinez-Pagani easily from third.
Looking to keep the Lobo lineup at bay and give the home team a chance to walk it off, Alex Bustamante came back out to work the ninth. Bustamante retired the only hitter he faced in the eighth to get the Aggies out of a jam. The Lobos found their groove and recorded a three-run ninth – All coming on a bases-clearing double to right field.
Grabosch singled in the ninth inning and advanced to second on a passed ball but the Aggie catcher’s efforts fell short and the home team stranded him at second base.
NM State will be back in action at Presley Askew Field this weekend against Sacramento State. In a WAC West matchup, the Aggies will look to gain some ground, beginning Friday night at 6 PM. Both Saturday and Sunday will feature 12 PM first pitches.
For complete coverage of NM State baseball throughout the Aggies 2022 campaign visit NMStateSports.com - the official home of Aggie athletics - and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Baseball), Twitter (@NMStateBaseball) and Instagram (@NMStateBaseball).