Las Cruces, NM - The New Mexico State Aggies baseball team hosts Western Athletic Conference opponent Northern Colorado for a three-game weekend series, April 21-23.
First pitch for the opening contest is slated for 6 p.m. MT at Presley Askew Field. The second contest on Saturday begins at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s final contest is at noon.
The Aggies rotation for the home WAC series features two regular weekend starters in a different order than most series. On the bump to open the series this Friday is Marcel Renteria, who currently holds a 5-2 record with a team-high 60 strikeouts and a 3.29 ERA over 52 innings of work. He’ll face off against Northern Colorado’s Karver Pate (0-1, 4.58 ERA). Saturday’s contest features southpaw Jonathan Groff (5-4, 2.91 ERA) on the mound versus Connor Leedholm (1-3, 4.22 ERA). NM State’s Sunday starter is going to be a game-time decision to square off against the Bears Aaron Hamilton (2-3, 4.68 ERA).
Get up to the minute information and news about the NM State baseball team all season on Twitter, and Instagram by following @NMStateBaseball and on Facebook.com/NMSUAthletics.
WHERE TO WATCH
The Aggies contest versus Northern Colorado on Saturday, April 22 is going to be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona PLUS, Fox College Sports Pacific and Altitude Sports 2.
FOX Sports Arizona PLUS
DISH : SD: 443, HD: 9581 | DISH Hopper: 412-31
| DTV: 686-1
FOX College Sports Pacific
DTV: 681 | DISH: SD: 412/3, HD: 5413
Aggie fans that can’t make it to the game can listen to Adam Young (@youngpbp) on 91.5 FM KRUX. Fans can also listen to the game live with their mobile or tablet device on the TuneIn app for free by searching 91.5 FM KRUX.
GET YOUR SEASON TICKETS NOW!
With the start of the 2017 season tickets, Aggie fans can be a part of the action for all 23 home games (including three double-headers) for just $100 per seat. Season tickets will guarantee fans a seat in the reserved section of 104 behind home plate. Fans can purchase 2017 Aggie baseball season tickets by going to the Pan American Center ticket office or by calling 575-646-1420.
LOOKING AT THE RED RAIDERS
Northern Colorado enters the weekend series at 15-19 overall, 4-5 in WAC play and 4-13 in road contests. The Bears are 4-6 in their last 10 contests and won their previous contest, 10-6, over University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on Tuesday, April 18.
The opponent’s offense features three regular starters batting over .300. Offensive production is led by outfielder Jack Pauley who boasts a team-leading .352 batting average and 31 runs batted in with 19 extra-base hits. Junior Evan Johnson posts a .315 BA with 41 hits and 25 runs scored. Cole Maltese posts a .309 BA with a team-high nine home runs and is a perfect 6-for-6 with stolen bases.
Jacob Howard leads the bullpen with 14 appearances and the hurler owns a 3-0 record with a 5.20 ERA over 27.2 innings pitched. Anthony Brady posts a team-high (10+ IP) 1.50 ERA in 12 appearances from the pen. The Bears Friday starter, Karver Pate, is making just his second start of the season. Aaron Hamilton, the starter closing out the three-game series, leads the team with 40 strikeouts to the next highest of 23.
LOOKING AT THE RECORD BOOKS
Aggie second baseman Brent Sakurai sits in the top-10 in single-season triples in program history. The senior is tied for seventh with a mark set in 1988 by Gil Padilla, who recently won his 300th game at Las Cruces High School.
Ruger Rodriguez’ six saves put him in a tie for sixth all-time. Rodriguez is three saves shy of tying the Aggies all-time record held by Orlando Griego (1989) and Scott Coffman (2011).
LEADING THE LEAGUE
With his moonshot on Thursday, April 13, Aggie first baseman Tristen Carranza continues to pace the WAC in home runs with a league-best 11 jacks. The El Centro, Calif., product has tallied multi-homer games three separate times so far this season, including a two-homer night in Seattle to open WAC play.
Right-fielder Dan Hetzel also had a round-tripper in the game on Thursday which moved the Aggie just behind Carranza in second place in the conference with eight home runs.
SEVERE CASE OF KLEPTOMANIA
This past week’s games, April 11-15, saw the Aggies steal 11 bases in four games. Previously, the team had stolen 17 bases in their first 33 contests. The impressive stat line featured a season-high four stolen bases in the team’s game against Sacramento State on April 14.
LAST TIME OUT
NM State’s previous contest saw them travel to Midland, Texas for a neutral site contest against the No. 4 Texas Tech Red Raiders (32-8).
After taking an early two-run lead, the team ended up falling to a four-run fifth inning which gave the opponent a 6-4 lead that would stand as the final score.
After the weekend series, New Mexico State baseball travels to Tucson, Ariz. for a midweek contest against the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats (26-9) on Tuesday, April 25.