[Information provided by: Louisiana Tech Athletics]
The New Mexico State Aggies defeated Louisiana Tech, 6-4, in the second game of the weekend series Saturday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
New Mexico State (21-18, 7-7 WAC) scored early with two runs in the first and three in the third inning to propel the Aggies to a 6-4 victory over Tech (13-26, 2-12 WAC) to win the series, while Tech threatened with bases loaded three different times, but failed to complete the comeback.
"We make a living leaving people on base these days, and that comes back to haunt you," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We had opportunity after opportunity and just could not get it done. We have to keep fighting because these guys deserve a better fate than we are getting right now. We have to fight our way out of this."
The Aggies stormed out to an early lead in the first after Michael Medina, who singled to start the game, scored on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Rust followed by an RBI double down the left field line by Robert Lecount.
Tech answered quickly with three runs scored in the bottom of the second on three unearned runs after an error by the New Mexico State shortstop prolonged the inning. New Mexico State would respond with a three-run home run in the Parker Hipp, his second of the weekend, to give the Aggies a 5-3 advantage.
The Bulldogs added their final run of the afternoon in the fifth off an RBI double to deep left center field to score Tyler Qualls from first and cut New Mexico State's lead to one. A triple in the seventh by Rust scored shortstop Alex Foulon to give the Aggies an insurance run late in the game.
Reliever Christopher Bradley picked up the win for the Aggies after giving up just one hit and no runs in 2.2 innings of relief work. Bradley (4-3) came on for starter Casey Collins in the fifth innings after Collins allowed four runs – one earned – off five hits and 4.1 innings pitched. Evan Mott (2) pitched the final two innings for New Mexico State and allowed just one hit to earn his second save of the season.
Phil Maton (5-4) started for the Bulldogs and was charged with the loss after allowing six runs – all earned – off seven hits in 6.2 innings pitched. Maton struck out eight Aggie hitters and walked just two. Luke Giddens relieved Maton in the seventh innings and allowed one hit in the last 2.1 innings he pitched to end the game.
Hipp led the Aggies with a three-run home run in a 1-for-4 effort on the day, while Rust was 1-for-1 with a triple and two runs batted in. Medina and Foulon each were 2-for-4 from the plate for New Mexico State.
The Bulldogs were led by Sam Alvis, who finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Tyler Ervine recorded his 14th multiple-hit game of the season with a 2-for-5 day and an RBI. Tech and New Mexico State hitters each totaled eight hits on the day.
The third and final conference game of the series will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday with a double header scheduled with the Aggies. The second game will be a seven-inning non-conference matchup between both teams and start approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.
In the second game of tomorrow's double header, both Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State will wear Boston Red Sox hats to show unity in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings from earlier this week.