Tech’s baseball team looks to defend its spot atop the
Western Athletic Conference standings this weekend when the Bulldogs travel to
Las Cruces, New Mexico, for a three-game series with WAC foe New Mexico State.
The Bulldogs enter the contest 27-15 on the year, with a
9-5 mark in WAC play to stay one game ahead of Fresno State. New Mexico State
is 15-28 for the season and sits at the bottom of the conference with a 2-10
“[New Mexico State] can hit the ball extremely well,”
Tech head coach Wade Simoneauxsaid. “They have
beaten two of the better teams in the conference.”
Last weekend, Tech dropped two out of three games on the
road against conference opponent Sacramento State, but had won 16 out of its
last 17 games prior to the meeting, including a sweep of Fresno and a series
win over conference opponent Nevada.
The Aggies enter the series
riding their second conference win of the season after defeating Hawaii 5-3 on
Sunday in Honolulu.
Leading Tech in the series will be freshman right fielder
and pitcher Jericho Jones, who has been one of the most effective hitters in
the conference in a variety of categories. Jones currently leads the WAC in
homeruns and slugging percentage, is second in RBIs and is third in the
conference in batting average and total bases.
Joining Jones in the Bulldog offensive assault are
sophomore first baseman AlbieGoulder,
who holds the WAC’s second best on base percentage,
senior second baseman Amos Ramon with the conferences fourth best batting
average and sophomore centerfielder Adam Cobb, who has accounted for 37 runs on
Defensively, the pitching trio of
Jones, senior Matt Lacy and freshman Luke Burnett have combined for a
record of 13-7, with Tech boasting a team ERA of 4.8, compared to their
New Mexico State is led offensively by Vince Rodden, who leads the conference in runs scored with 45 on
the year, Abe Aguirre, who leads the WAC in hits with 58 and Luke Hopkins,
whose 54 RBI’s is ten better than anyone else in the conference.
“They have a very good offense,” Simoneaux
said of the Aggies, “In this conference, its tough to
play on the road. We need to come out and take care of business.”
Defensively, NMSU has struggled, committing 56 errors on
the year with a team ERA of 7.89. Jason Conner has been the Aggie ace on the
mound, recording 61 strike outs while allowing 50 earned runs in 75.2 innings
The series opens with game one Friday night at , with game two following at on Saturday and the final game at on Sunday.