LAS CRUCES, NM – New Mexico State defeated Stephen F. Austin 12-6 to get the sweep on the Lumberjacks. The Aggies improve to 9-22 (WAC 7-11) as the ‘Jacks fall to 16-17 (WAC 10-8).
Peyton Parker got the game started by crushing a solo home run over the left field wall in the top of the first to give SFA the early momentum. However, that momentum was quickly taken away as pitching struggles allowed New Mexico State to walk the bases loaded on the first three batters. Then for the third game in a row, the Aggies were able to get ahead with a high-scoring inning early in the game as they hit a grand slam to clear the bases and bring in four in the first.
The ‘Jacks got one of those runs back in the next half inning when Nolan Brown got his first hit and RBI of the game with a single up the middle. The early comeback continued into the top of the third when they were able to load up the bases. Cole Hill stepped up with a two-out base-hit through the left side to bring in two and tie the game at four. Brown kept the rally going by recording his second single and RBI of the game to give the Lumberjacks the lead.That lead quickly vanished as another home run from the Aggies in the bottom half of the inning retied the game. New Mexico State retook the lead in the fourth as they capitalized with three singles, a walk, and an error to score three runs in the inning. Another two run single in the fifth extended the Aggies lead to 10-5.
After a couple of scoreless innings, Brown led off the eighth inning with a single and eventually made his way to third following another single from Julian Thompson. Alex Rodgers came in next and hit a fielder’s choice to the shortstop which got Thompson out at second but allowed Brown to score. The Aggies, however, matched that run, and added one more for insurance, with a two-run homer to left center in the bottom half of the inning.
As New Mexico State closed out the game in the top of the ninth, they were able to secure the sweep on the Lumberjacks and move themselves up in the WAC standings.
Brown provided a bright spot for the Lumberjacks offense as he went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. Clayton Loranger collected two hits on the day and extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
The pitching staff for the Lumberjacks allowed eight walks and two hit batters in the afternoon, six of those ten batters eventually scoring. Preventing those six free base-runners from scoring would have seen a totally different outcome in the match.
SFA Baseball now moves on to Wednesday, April 19th where they will return home to take on University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff, coverage on ESPN+