OREM, Utah — With 11 runs over the final two innings, the New Mexico State baseball team beat Utah Valley 17-6 to clinch a berth in next week’s WAC tournament in Mesa, Arizona.
NM State jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the first two innings of play. In the first inning, Edwin Martinez-Pagani cleared the bases with a three-run double to give the Aggies a lead they would never relinquish. Later in the frame, Cal Villareal would go on to drive in a run with a single through the right side.
In the second inning, the Antillon brothers would connect for NM State’s fifth run of the game. Gunner Antillon singled up the middle to score Hunter Antillon to go up 5-0.
The two teams then swapped home runs, including a Villareal solo shot in the third.
Preston Godfrey hit a leadoff home run in the sixth — the first of six runs in the inning for the Aggies, who put up five more in the seventh inning to put the 10-run rule in play heading into the bottom half of the inning.
New Mexico State closer Alex Bustamante struck out two Wolverines in the seventh to secure the win for the Aggies and end the postseason hopes for Utah Valley.
NM State, which improved to 20-31 overall and 10-19 in WAC play, scored 32 runs in the first two games of the three-game series in Orem.
Saturday’s series finale starts at noon at UCCU ballpark.
The WAC tournament starts Wednesday at noon for the Aggies.
NEW MEXICO 13, AIR FORCE 12: At Santa Ana Star Field, Lenny Junior Ashby hit his Mountain West-leading 17th home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Friday night — a grand slam to start a furious seven-run rally — and the Lobos stunned the Falcons in a game in which the two teams combined for 31 hits.
Kyle Smith had a bases-loaded single to right later in the ninth — a hit that would have been good enough to tie the game, but a fielding error led to all three base runners coming in to score with Braydon Runion scoring the game-winner from first.
UNM improves to 21-32 overall and 10-19 in Mountain West play.
Saturday’s regular-season finale is set for noon.