Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State baseball team picked up its first Western Athletic Conference win of the year as junior Dan Kennon went 2-of-3 with a home run and three RBIs leading the Aggies to a 6-4 win over Bakersfield in Las Cruces, N.M., Saturday, March 14.
With the win NM State moves to 2-15 on the season and 1-1 in WAC play while the Roadrunner fall to 11-8 overall in 1-1 in league play. Right-hand relief pitcher Billy Conard was given the win and is now 2-2 on the season as he worked 1.1 innings on the mound, striking out three of the five batters he faced. CSUB reliever Max Carter was credited with the loss and is now 3-2 this season.
The Aggies fell behind 2-0 in the top of the second but responded in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs on three hits. The first run crossed the plate on a passed ball by the Roadrunner catcher and the Aggies tied it up on a single to centerfield by junior Jay Sheely.
The Roadrunner regained the lead scoring two runs in the top of the fifth making it a 4-2 ballgame and the Aggies cut the lead to one in the bottom of the inning when freshman Aaron Duran hit a sing up the middle to bring in catcher Lucas Martinez, who got on with a lead-off single.
“It’s great to get the win the way we did today and you have to give credit to Bakersfield for playing tough,” head coach Brian Green said. “We did it with a competitive bullpen and it was good to see Billy [Conard] come in and do what he did today. He’s our guy and he really pulled through for us today. When you win a game late with the bottom of the lineup competing the way they did, it shows a good sign of toughness.”
Down 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, nine-hole hitter Kennon blasted his first home run of the year over the leftfield wall to tie the game. The Aggies got a lead-off single from designated hitter Joseph Koerper to start the eighth. After Sheely got on base with a two-out single, Keenon sealed the game with a two-RBI single to center. Koerper had a great offensive day going 4-of-4 from the plate, crossing the plate twice.
Starting NM State pitcher Matt Loeffler worked 5.1 innings in the no-decision, while starting CSUB pitcher Steven Gee pitched 5.0 innings in his no-decision.
The Aggies and CSUB face each other in the rubber-match, Sunday, March 15 at 12 p.m. (MT) at Presley Askew Field. The game will air over the radio waves in Las Cruces on KRUX 91.5 FM as well as online at www.NMStateSports.com.