The Aggie baseball team fell to the UNM Lobos 13-0 in a short 7-inning game. Despite the momentum from this past weekend’s sweep against Stephen F. Austin, the Aggies struggled to get the ball rolling both defensively and offensively.
“So the biggest lesson for the boys today was that just because we had a good weekend, doesn’t mean it’s somewhat going to roll into the next week,” said Keith Zuniga, Aggie interim head coach.
In his first start for the Aggies, senior pitcher Will Sierra gave up two walks within the first three at-bats. From there, the Lobos quickly took advantage of the game with deep shots into the outfield and swift base running to take a 4-0 lead.
The Aggies struggled offensively in the bottom of the first against UNM pitcher Jaren Jackson. Only senior Kevin Jimenez managed to get on base with a hard-hit infield shot to the first baseman.
Looking to stunt the Lobos’ momentum, the Aggies brought in recent transfer junior Hayden Walker in the top of the second. Despite a quick strikeout, UNM quickly got men on base and brought the lead up to 6-0. With a mid-inning pitching change, NMSU brought in junior Aaron Treloar, who gave up two more runs before a final strikeout to close the inning. At this point, the Aggies had dug themselves a deep 8-0 hole.
The bottom of the second did not amount to much for the Aggies, as the inning was over after just four batters. The Aggies were able to prevent any more runs in the third inning, but were unable to score despite a double from junior Nolan Funke in the bottom half.
In the top of the fourth, NMSU brought in junior Sakemi Sato, who was able to slow down UNM’s offense and buy the Aggies more time. However, the bottom of the fourth only yielded more strikeouts and two men left on base without any runs.
NMSU was off to a rocky start in the top of the fifth when UNM’s Jake Holland hit a shot to right field for a triple, which was followed by a pass ball and an unearned run. Now down 9-0, the Aggies desperately needed to regain control of the game, but Sato gave up a two-run home run, giving the Lobos an 11-0 lead. The Aggies once again did not have an offensive response in the bottom of the inning.
To start the top of the sixth, the Aggies brought in junior Alan Aguero, who gave up another home run. Another quick pitching change brought in NMSU junior Matthew Maloney, but UNM’s Justin Olsen earned the Lobos their third home run of the night, which increased their lead to 13-0.
Unable to pull anything together in the seventh inning, the game ended and the Aggies were handed their second shutout of the season. The Aggies fell to 9-23 (.281) overall and 7-11 in WAC play. They currently sit in 11th place in the WAC standings with 12 conference games remaining on their schedule.
“There was a couple of crucial plays that we could have made that would obviously change the outcome of the game,” said Coach Zuniga. “So it seems like everybody in the batter’s box tried to do too much and somewhat tie the game in one swing instead of piece together a couple at-bats and get guys on base.”
The Aggies will have a chance to redeem themselves in two more matchups against UNM on May 2 and May 16.
“We told [the players] we’re going to put this one past us already. We’ll see these guys again in a couple of weeks and just get ready for conference play this weekend,” Zuniga said.
The Aggies will begin their series at Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, on Friday, April 21, at 6 p.m.