Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State baseball Aggies came back from a 7-run deficit to beat the Texas-Pan American Broncs 13-12 in Saturday’s Western Athletic Conference game at Presley Askew Field.
The Aggies (11-34-1) picked up their third consecutive win using an 8-run seventh inning capped by Joseph Koerper’s 3-run home run to left field giving NM State its first lead since the end of the first.
Aggie right hander Matt Loeffler finished the night facing six batters and striking out three to earn his first win of the year.
UTPA (18-29-1, 3-19-1 WAC) opened a 12-5 lead early scoring two runs in the second, four in the third, another in the fourth and four more in the fifth before its offense came to a complete stop.
The Broncs’ momentum was deflated when the Aggie defense turned a double-play from shortstop Daniel Kennon to first baseman Cameron Haskins in the top of the sixth. The next nine batters were retired with Lincoln Herendeen on the mound in the seventh as he gave up just one hit in the inning. That one hit led to an out as Bronc Cole Loncar attempted to stretch a double to a triple and was thrown out at third from right fielder Koerper through second baseman Kyle Graf and to third baseman Derek Umphres who made the tag.
Aggie catcher Brent Hermanussen, who finished the night going 2-of-4 from the dish with a walk, four RBI and a run, picked up two of his RBI in the bottom of the first on a single to left field for an early lead.
The Broncs took its first lead of the game with three runs in the top of the second but the Aggies tied it up on an RBI single to left field by Koerper, who finished hitting 3-of-4 including the game winning home run.
After another four Bronc runs crossed the plate in the top of the third, NM State got RBI singles from center fielder Jay Sheely and Graf kept the Aggies within two. However the Broncs extended its lead to 8-5 scoring a run in the fourth. Graf ended up having a good night at the plate going 3-of-4 with his second RBI coming in the high-scoring eighth inning.
UTPA starter Robert Quinonez went into the seventh with over 100 pitches thrown and the Aggie offense took advantage, starting the inning with a single and two walks before Hermanussen tallied his second pair of RBI on a single to left. Hermanussen then advanced from first to second on a wild pitch. Then from second to third on a separate wild pitch, and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
NM State goes for the series sweep against UTPA at 12 p.m. (MT) on Sunday, May 10. It’s the “Mother’s Day Game” where all mothers may enter the game free of charge.