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NMSU falls short on senior day against No. 25 Grand Canyon

Aggies bring winning run to the plate in bottom of ninth but can't convert


The Basics

Game Forty-Eight
Score: No. 25 Grand Canyon 5, NM State 4
Records: NM State (18-30, 8-19 WAC); Grand Canyon (36-17; 22-5 WAC)
Location: Las Cruces, N.M. (Presley Askew Field)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. –  Sunday marked the final game at Presley Askew Field for four seniors – Brendon RodriguezFrank Dickson IV, Lyle Hibbitts, and Tommy Tabak – as the NM State baseball team wrapped up the 2022 home slate. In the ninth inning, NM State looked to rally but fell short as No. 25 completed the sweep with a 5-4 win.

Just as they did on Friday and Saturday, NM State got on the board first. This time, the Aggies got the scoring going when Brandon Dieter homered to straightaway center field. The solo shot was Dieter's fifth of the season.
The Lopes quickly responded with a two-run single in the fourth inning to take the lead. Nolan Funke was not about to let his team go down quietly as he launched a home run to dead center as well, tying the game at two.
GCU plated runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to take the lead and never looked back. Up 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, the GCU bullpen looked to put NM State away. Just as they have all season, the Aggies refused to go down without a fight. Senior Tommy Tabak homered in his last home at-bat, bringing the Aggies back within a run.
NM State looked to be putting something together in the ninth inning when Preston Godfrey lead off the inning with a single. After a deep flyout to center field, the Aggies pinch-runner was picked off of first base for the second out of the inning, clearing the bases. One pitch later, the Lopes ended the ballgame with a swinging strikeout.
Quick Hits

  • Brandon Dieter put together a three-hit game for the Aggies including a home run.
  • Cal Villareal was the only other Aggie to record multiple hits.
  • Sammy Natera struck out five hitters over 3.0 innings of work.
  • Alex Bustamante worked a spotless ninth inning, striking out one.
  • All four runs for NM State came on the home run.
  • The Aggies head into the final series of the season trailing Utah Valley by one game. The Aggies will need to win two of three in Orem, Utah to qualify for the WAC Baseball Tournament.

The Aggies will conclude the regular season with four games away from home. Beginning on Tuesday, the Aggies will head to Albuquerque for the Rio Grande Rivalry before heading to Orem, Utah for a critical series with Utah Valley. The Aggies will need to win at least two of three over the Wolverines to qualify for the WAC Baseball Tournament in Mesa, Arizona.
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).