March 25, 2004
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Despite collecting 15 hits, the New Mexico baseball team fell to New Mexico State, 16-9, Wednesday night at Presley Askew Field. The Aggies pounded four homers and 13 hits in the contest to improve to 20-6-1 for the season.
Junior shortstop Josh Mader tied a career-high with four hits and had a season-high three RBI for the Lobos (5-14-1). Matt Young went 3-for-4 with three runs. UNM went deep a season-high three times in the game, including shots by Joe Salas, Tim Grady and Brandon Bingham.
The Lobos jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first. Young started the game with a double, stole third, and scored on a Mader fielder's choice. Salas put UNM up 3-0 with a two-run shot over the right-field fence for his first homer of the season. Tim Grady continued the offensive attack in the first with a solo homer that hit off the scoreboard in left-center field.
NMSU answered right back in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs to make it 4-3. Albuquerque native Mark Aranda crushed a three-run blast deep to right-center.The Aggies tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the second.
Bingham picked a nice time to deliver his first hit of the season, nailing a two-run dinger to put the Lobos back up 6-4 in the third.
Young set the table once again for the Lobos in the fourth, leading off with a single and scoring on a Mader single to make it 7-4.
After striking out twice earlier in the game, the Billy Becher machine came to life for NMSU in the fourth. Becher, the 2003 NCAA home run and RBI champion, hit a towering three-run blast to center, tying the game at 7. It was Becher's 14th homer of the season.
The game of cat-and-mouse continued in the fifth, but the Aggies finally caught up to the Lobos and went ahead. Barba hit a sacrifice fly and Mader drove in his third run in the top of the inning, but NMSU responded with five runs in the back end to go up 12-9, including three on Mark Aranda's second homer of the game and 12th of the season.
The Lobos squandered two scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings as strikeouts ended the threat in each inning.
Peter Arroyo added a two-run homer and Aranda knocked in two more runs on a triple in the eighth for New Mexico State. Aranda finished the game 4-for-4 with eight RBI.
Kent Bargsagel (1-0) picked up his first win of the season for the Aggies, while Mike Smith took the loss for UNM (0-1).
New Mexico returns to action for a three-game series at Isotopes Park this weekend (March 26-28) against San Diego State. The series kicks off Friday night at 6 p.m. Saturday's game is "Pack the Park" night at Isotopes Park, in which the Lobos are looking to set the single-game attendance record at UNM, which currently stands at 5,430. First pitch for Saturday is set for 6 p.m. Sunday's finale begins at 12 p.m.