NMSU baseball team knocks off New Mexico

New Mexico State rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the fourth, a 5-2 deficit in the seventh and a 7-5 deficit in the eighth to earn its 16th come from behind victory of the season. The Aggies improved to 28-8 while the Lobos fell to 23-14. The season series is now evened at 2-2.

Going into Tuesday's fourth game against rival New Mexico, New Mexico State slugger Billy Becher hadn't been very successful against the Lobos. He was 0-for-11.

And as he stepped up to the plate with his Aggies down 7-5 in the eighth inning, his struggles against New Mexico were weighing heavy on his mind.

"In the back of my mind, I was thinking that these were the only guys who I haven't hit against," he said. "And it was ticking me off."

With one mighty swing, Becher hit a grand slam that singlehandedly destroyed the Lobos as the Aggies won a classic, 10-7, at Presley Askew Field.

The ball sailed as soon as Becher made contact, clearing the right field wall by several feet and evening up the year's New Mexico battle at 2-2.

The Aggies and Lobos split a pair of games in the opening series of the season and New Mexico took a game last month.

"I was excited," Becher said of his demeanor upon approaching the plate. "I was just waiting for something over the plate. I wasn't necessarily trying to hit a home run. I was just trying to get two runs in. I got it up in the air and it just kept going.

"As soon as I hit it, I was pretty sure it would go."

The NMSU rally didn't stop with Becher. Beau Blacken knocked his 10th out of the park following Becher's 22nd of the season, putting a final exclamation point on a dramatic comeback.

Going into the bottom of the eighth, NMSU was desperate for a big offensive showing.

The Lobos had just broken a 5-5 tie at the top of the eighth, when New Mexico knocked in a couple of runs, the last courtesy of a Joe Salas single to center field. And, earlier in the seventh inning, the Aggies allowed three Lobo runs after centerfielder Alex Borgo dropped a fly ball.

But when Becher connected, all was made right on what ended up being an entertaining evening.

And that the opponent was New Mexico was a plus for Becher.

"We like beating these guys," he said. "When we were down, we knew we had enough left to get the job done."

NMSU improved to 28-8; New Mexico fell to 23-14.

Matthew Aguilar may be reached at maguilar@elpasotimes.com

Aggie Alert Top Stories