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Aggie baseball much improved after solid 6-6 start

The New Mexico State University baseball team is back in action, coming off a disappointing season last spring where the team finished 14-37 overall with a 9-21 conference record. 

The New Mexico State University baseball team cheers on their teammate Sheehan O’Connor after hitting a home run that put the finishing touches on the Northern Colorado Bears. The Aggies won the four-game series on Monday, March 4, 2024. (Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics)

This includes a harsh 13-game losing streak at the beginning of last season, which led to many Aggie fans losing hope for this year’s team.  

In 2022, the Aggies made a surprising run to win the Western Athletic Conference tournament and earn a spot in the NCAA Corvallis Regional. Despite losing back-to-back games against powerhouses Oregon State University and Vanderbilt University, fans were still hopeful that the team would keep the momentum going into the next season. However, that wasn’t the case. 

In June 2023, NMSU announced Jake Angier as the new head coach of the Aggie baseball program. According to an article from NMSU athletics, Angier was excited to take on the role of the new head coach.  

“My family and I couldn’t be more happy and honored to become a part of the New Mexico State Baseball program,” Angier said. “I’d like to thank Mario [Moccia], and the entire search committee, as well as the New Mexico State administration for allowing me to become the next head coach of the Aggies. I’d also like to take the time to thank Mark Wasikowski for the tremendous opportunity he provided me and the incredible program that he has put together at Oregon.”  

Looking to have a better 2024 season, the Aggies started strong by winning their first two scheduled games against South Dakota State University. After those early wins, they lost six competitive games in a row. However, playing in front of their home crowd at the Presley Askew Field motivated them this past weekend as they took on the Northern Colorado Bears for four straight games. 

The Aggies secured a dominating win, 11-6, on Friday, March 1. At one point, NMSU got the crowd on their feet by holding an 11-1 lead. With an effective scoring strategy, they had 14 hits.  Despite the Bears getting 10 hits throughout the game, NMSU player Nick Gore led the Aggies in three total runs.

The New Mexico State University baseball team takes on the Northern Colorado Bears in the third day of the four-game series on Sunday, March 3, 2024. (Photo by Marshall Mecham/Kokopelli)

The following day, the Aggies were able to pick up another great win by putting up 19 hits and scoring with each hit. A big reason for this win is junior Romeo Ballesteros who scored four runs, the most runs of any player from both teams. The Bears were able to get 15 hits and put up a competitive fight. Scoring 11 points in most baseball games will usually secure a win, but not in this case. The Aggies won this game 19-11, coming back from being down 4-8. 

Starting the final day of the series 2-0, the Aggies used the momentum to beat Northern Colorado with one last win. Putting up even more points than the previous day, the Aggies scored 22 points. NMSU senior Damone Hale scored four runs, and the Aggies hit the ball 17 times compared to Northern Colorado’s double-digit score of 12 hits.  

The Aggies dominated the game, winning 14-4 with 11 hits, while the Bears had just seven hits.  Edwin Martinez-Pagani scored three runs with three RBIs. On the other hand, Keith Jones II has also been a big reason for the team’s recent success. One Northern Colorado player to keep an eye on is sophomore Jake King who played well in the series. Despite them not being able to pull off a win against the Aggies, the effort shown was great for Bears fans to see.    

With impressive wins this past weekend, the NMSU baseball team now has a record of 6-6, a way better start than previous seasons. This upcoming weekend, the Aggies will play a three-game series against Prairie View A&M University March 8-10. With conference games around the corner, the team hopes to get as much crowd support as possible. Later this month, fans can expect a rival game against the University of New Mexico and on-the-road competitions against Texas Tech University for back-to-back games.  

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