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Ninth inning dooms NM State against visiting Arizona


The Basics

Game Thirty-Eight
Score: Arizona 15, NM State 5
Records: NM State (16-22); Arizona (29-13)
Location: Las Cruces, N.M. (Presley Askew Field)
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Hosting Arizona for the first time since 1954, the NM State baseball team looked to turn heads around the Southwest with a midweek win over the Wildcats. While the Aggies and Wildcats had a competitive game for eight innings, a seven-run ninth inning doomed the Aggies as they fell 15-5 at Presley Askew Field.
Tuesday was a predetermined bullpen day for the NM State pitching staff as the Aggies threw nine different pitchers. Brendon Rodriguez was ultimately tagged with the loss, his fifth of the season.
Cal Villareal put the Aggies on top with his second home run of the season in the second inning. The 1-0 lead quickly evaporated as the Wildcats hung a three spot in the fourth inning. Arizona would score in four consecutive innings to take the lead.
In the fifth inning, NM State started to chip away at the four-run deficit with two runs. Villareal added his second RBI of the night with a single to left field, scoring Tommy Tabak. The next batter, Preston Godfrey, bounced out to the second baseman but drove in a run in the process.
After Arizona put three more runs on the board in the sixth inning, NM State once again cut into the deficit with a run of its own. Nolan Funke ripped a scorching single to left and scored Kevin Jimenez from second.
A seventh inning Arizona run was answered with an eighth inning run by the Aggies. Heads up baserunning from Logan Gallina and Jimenez forced an errant throw and allowed Jimenez to score.
NM State was looking to the back end of the bullpen to hold the Wildcats in check and allow the offense one last chance at the plate. The rally chances quickly vanished as the high-octane Arizona offense exploded for seven runs in the ninth inning to take a ten-run lead. The Aggies went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, falling to Arizona for the second time this season.
Quick Hits

  • Tuesday's contest was the first time since 1954 that NM State baseball hosted Arizona.
  • Nine different pitchers made appearances for the Aggies.
  • Cal Villareal was the lone Aggie to record multiple runs, driving in a run on both swings.
  • Josh Laukkanen made his first start of 2022, striking out the side in the first inning.
  • NM State pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts on Tuesday night.

NM State will once again call Presley Askew Field home for the weekend when Dixie State comes to town. In a WAC West battle, the Aggies and Trailblazers will square off three times, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
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).