La Salle bullpen hands Aggies third loss of the season

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La Salle bullpen hands Aggies third loss of the season

New Mexico State comes up short at Presley Askew Field for just the second time in 2019, allowing a season-high nine runs to La Salle.

New Mexico State comes up short at Presley Askew Field for just the second time in 2019, allowing a season-high nine runs to La Salle.

Mitchell Allred

New Mexico State comes up short at Presley Askew Field for just the second time in 2019, allowing a season-high nine runs to La Salle.

Mitchell Allred

Mitchell Allred

New Mexico State comes up short at Presley Askew Field for just the second time in 2019, allowing a season-high nine runs to La Salle.

La Salle and a 12-minute rain delay proved to be too much for the New Mexico State baseball team as they fell 9-8 for just their third loss of the season in a high-octane offensive matchup.

The Explorer bullpen, that unlike NM State has been playing in close ballgames all year, looked comfortable down the stretch of tonight’s tight matchup, holding head coach Brian Green’s offense remained hitless from the seventh inning on.

LSU’s bullpen collected just eight strikeouts, but the zero errors made by their defense backed the pitching staff up in the critical moments.

That was a stark contrast from NM State’s defense, which looked out of character, manufacturing four errors on the day and giving LSU easy runs that would eventually come back and haunt the Aggies. Things would get interesting after a first inning home run by NCBWA National Player of the Month Nick Gonzales (who continued his tear, hitting 4-for-4 and coming a triple away of the cycle), putting the Aggies up 3-1 after one.

From then on it would become a boxing match of two strong teams trading blows, with the lead changing six times. NM State (11-3) looked their normal explosive selves from the plate, but three home runs (one from Gonzales Caleb Henderson and Tristan Peterson) and eight RBIs just wouldn’t be enough to make it five straight wins for the team.

Senior Brock Whittlesey struggled on the night, walking 3 batters, giving up 6 earned runs in only four innings – an unfamiliar sight from the Aggie ace.

It was evident that the weather played a big part in Whittlesey’s off night, with his pitches drifting way out of the zone at times. Three additional Aggie pitchers (a combined 4.95 era for the NM State bullpen) would not be able to stop the bleeding as five walks were given up by the bullpen. Junior Aldo Fernandez (0-2) was given the loss as he came in the seventh and gave up the Aggie lead.

The four-hour plus game tested tempers from both teams as both dugouts were seen chirping at each other late in the ninth inning and post-game.

NM State will have a chance to put tonight’s game behind them quickly as the two teams square off tomorrow for a double header starting at 1 p.m. Justin Dehn will start on the hill for the first game.

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