LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State used a six-run third inning to open up a big early lead and went on to complete a 14-4 win in eight innings in the opener of a three-game series against Sacramento State on Friday night in Las Cruces.
Sacramento State (25-16, 12-4 WAC) saw its nine game winning streak against the Aggies come to an end, losing to the team for the first time since 2013. New Mexico State (23-18, 11-5 WAC) entered the game as the highest scoring team in the WAC and showed it on Friday.
The Aggies totaled 14 runs on 18 hits, both season highs against the Hornets in WAC play. The Hornets put up four runs on eight hits, with freshman Matt Smith and junior Brandon Hunley both going 2-for-4. Hunley hit a solo home run in the second inning while Smith drove in two of the four Hornet runs.
The top four hitters in the Sacramento State lineup each had hits as the team totaled four doubles. New Mexico State had three home runs and six doubles on the night, scoring nine runs over the first three innings and tacking on runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Third baseman Trey Stine singled in a run in the bottom of the eight to end the game via the WAC 10-run rule.
Sacramento State got its first run on Hunley's third home run of the year in the second inning. In the third inning sophomore Dan Deely had a one-out double and came around to score on an RBI single from sophomore Andrew McWilliam.
The Hornets scored twice on two hits and a walk in the top of the fifth. After sophomore Bronson Grubbs singled and McWilliam walked, Smith came through with a two-out, two-run double to right center to bring in both runners.
Marcel Renteria earned the win for the Aggies allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks in 7.2 innings pitched. Sam Long had four strikeouts over four innings for the Hornets.
Game two of the series on Saturday pits Hornet junior Max Karnos against New Mexico State freshman Kyle Brandish. First pitched is scheduled for noon Pacific time and the game can be seen live on watchespn.com and the WAC Digital Network.