Aggies finish up WAC play with another loss
OREM, Utah (KVIA) -- NMSU will be leaving the WAC on a losing note, falling 5-4 to Utah Valley on Sunday and in-turn finishing conference play with a 9-21 record.
For the first two games of the series between Utah Valley and NM State, offense was plentiful. On Sunday afternoon, the two squads engaged into a pitchers duel to change the pace. A costly wild pitch in the eighth inning allowed Utah Valley to take a 5-4 lead, that score would hold through the ninth.
After rain and wet field conditions pushed first pitch back an hour, the Aggies struck first in the first. Following a hit by pitch and an error, NM State managed to push its first run across without recording a hit. Kevin Jimenez opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field, plating Keith Jones II. Utah Valley quickly answered with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the first to tie the game.
The Wolverines clawed out a two-run inning in the third to take a two-run lead over the Aggies. After a scoreless fourth, the Aggies got two runs in the fifth to re-tie the game. After Damone Hale scored on a wild pitch, Preston Godfrey tied the game with a single to left field, scoring Kevin Jimenez. In the bottom of the frame, Utah Valley jumped back in front, taking a 4-3 lead.
Tyler Hoeft was phenomenal for NM State on Sunday afternoon. Hoeft matched his NM State career-high with eight strikeouts in the ballgame over 6.0 innings of work. With only two earned runs allowed, Hoeft recorded a quality start on Sunday afternoon as well.
Godfrey once again smoked a ball to left field in the seventh inning, tying the game at four. A defensive miscue by the Wolverine left fielder saw the ball skip off the wall and gave Christian Perez a chance to score.
Heartbreaking might be the best way to describe the bottom of the eighth for NM State. With two outs and a runner on third, a wild pitch brought the go-ahead run across for the Wolverines. In the ninth inning, the Aggies went down in order, allowing Utah Valley to secure its first sweep in over six years.
NMSU will return home for the final four games of the season on Tuesday when they host New Mexico before welcoming St. Thomas for three games.