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Aggies move to 0-9 to start the season with ten inning loss to Pacific


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Aggies were handed their ninth loss of the season with a home run from Pacific in the tenth inning to win 4-3.

Pacific got off to a blazing start in the first inning. The first two hitters each reached safely on a pair of singles before a sacrifice bunt moved them each into scoring position. One batter later, Jeremy Lea would plate two runs with a single to center field.
Cal Villareal led off the bottom of the first inning with a double down the left field line on the first pitch he saw. Later in that first inning, Villareal scored on a wild pitch and brought NM State back within a run.
Tyler Hoeft had a career day in just his third start as an Aggie. The right-hander worked a season-long 7.0 innings and fanned a season-best eight hitters as he put his team in a great spot to win.
Hoeft received plenty of help from his catcher, Hunter Antillon. Throughout the game, Pacific learned that running on Antillon is like swimming in shark-infested waters. The Rancho Cucamonga native threw out three potential base stealers and picked off another at second base. After entering the game in the late innings, Nick Gore got in on the action and threw out a runner of his own.
NM State and Pacific would remain locked at 3-1 until the seventh inning when the Aggies would pull within a run.  With two away, Damone Hale laid down a bunt and legged it out for a base hit. After being balked over to second, Hale would steal third base and scamper home on a throwing error.
Coming out of the bullpen, Pablo Cortes would pull out his best performance, making only one error over three innings of work. Cortes fanned five of the nine hitters he retired in the ballgame – a new season-high.
Needing some ninth inning heroics, Logan Gallina stepped up to the plate for the Aggies. Gallina swatted a 1-2 pitch well over the trees in right field and unleashed a monster bat flip after tying the ballgame. Each of the next three Aggies would be retired and the two teams went to the tenth inning.
Pacific led off the tenth with a home run to left field, giving the Tigers a 4-3 advantage. The West Coast kids would get an additional baserunner with a two-out single but Cortes ended the inning with his fifth strikeout of the ballgame. In the bottom half of the inning, Mitch Namie picked up his third base hit of the night but was stranded at first base. Villareal launched a towering fly ball to center field but the Pacific outfielder ran it down on the warning track as the Tigers escaped with the series victory.
NM State and Pacific will wrap up the three-game set on Sunday morning, beginning at 11:00 a.m. MT. The game will air on the WAC Digital Network for fans who cannot make it out to Presley Askew Field.

Article Topic Follows: NMSU

Rachel Phillips

Rachel Phillips is the weekend sports anchor and reporter


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