Aggies' improbable run to NCAA baseball berth takes them to Oregon State - Albuquerque Journal

Aggies’ improbable run to NCAA baseball berth takes them to Oregon State

Tommy Tabak and the New Mexico State baseball team plays in the NCAA Regionals on Friday, June 3, 2022 vs. No. 3 Oregon State. (Courtesy of New Mexico State)

(Click here for the NCAA Tournament baseball bracket.)

It doesn’t matter that New Mexico State finished with a losing record. Or, to bring it home, that the Aggies were 0-4 against a rebuilding (and 21-33 in 2022) University of New Mexico team.

The 24-32 Aggies are in the national championship baseball hunt.

You’ve got to be in it to win it, after all, and New Mexico State earned its automatic NCAA bid over the weekend with a stunning run to the Western Athletic Conference tournament title. On Monday, coach Mike Kirby’s Aggies drew their regional assignment – Corvallis, Oregon, with the first game against No. 3 overall seed Oregon State (44-15) at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Beavers lead the all-time series, 7-2, last winning 7-0 in 2011.

Vanderbilt and San Diego also square off Friday as the other two in the four-team, double-elimination bracket. Winners of all 16 such brackets nationwide advance to eight best-of-three super regionals. Those winners move on to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

New Mexico State directs fans interested in purchasing tickets to the Corvallis Regional to the Oregon State athletics website (osubeavers.com). All-session tickets will go on sale at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Aggies are one of only three teams in the 64-team field who finished under. 500, joining Coppin State (24-28) and Binghamton (22-28).

Oregon State is coming off a 9-5 loss in the Pac-12 championship game to Stanford. But the Beavers got attention for their part one day earlier in an epic 25-22 loss to UCLA, in which the Bruins tied it with nine runs in the bottom of the ninth and won it in the 10th on a three-run walkoff homer.

That forced a rematch won by Oregon State 8-7. Sandia High alumnus Jacob Kmatz started that game for the Beavers and allowed three runs over 5.2 innings.

A 6-foot-3 freshman right-hander, Kmatz didn’t get the decision, but he’s 8-1 with a 3.89 earned-run average and has 14 starts, second most on the team. Pitching matchups had not been announced by Monday afternoon.

The Aggies reached this point only after becoming the last team to get into the WAC tournament – and then steamrolling the field. Goddard alumnus and junior outfielder Cal Villareal had two four-hit games and was named tournament MVP.

NMSU’s road to the title was graded without having a major obstacle in Grand Canyon, which fell twice to Abilene Christian – like the Aggies a No. 4 WAC seed. GCU still got an at-large berth and goes to the Stillwater (Oklahoma State) regional and faces Arkansas. It’s the first time the WAC has two teams in field since 2012.

Representing the Mountain West is Air Force (30-27), the league’s tournament winner and in the NCAAs for the first time since 1969.

Tennessee is the No. 1 overall seed after one of the most dominant seasons in history. The Volunteers (53-7) swept the SEC regular-season and tournament titles and have the best pitching and batting statistics in the nation.

The last four teams picked for regionals were Florida State, Grand Canyon, Liberty and Mississippi. The first four out were North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Rutgers and Wofford.

Home » From the newspaper » Aggies’ improbable run to NCAA baseball berth takes them to Oregon State


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New Mexico State alum Bradish shuts down Astros
Baseball
Former New Mexico State Aggie Kyle ... Former New Mexico State Aggie Kyle Bradish pitched a gem, throwing eight strong innings before two relievers completed the four-hitter to lead the Baltimore ...
2
Connie Mack World Series final to air nationally Saturday
Baseball
CBS Sports Network is scheduled to ... CBS Sports Network is scheduled to air the championship game of the Connie Mack World Series Saturday. Thanks to a dramatic finish Friday night, ...
3
St. Pius alum Walker transferring to New Mexico State ...
Baseball
New Mexico State baseball on Wednesday ... New Mexico State baseball on Wednesday announced the addition of two transfer pitchers, including St. Pius alumnus Hayden Walker from Pepperdine. Will Sierra also ...
4
At its Grassroots, baseball is just fun
ABQnews Seeker
World-renowned photographer shares her love of ... World-renowned photographer shares her love of baseball through images captured along historic Route 66, including New Mexico.
5
College baseball: Vandy routs Aggies, ends their season
Baseball
Vanderbilt beat New Mexico State 21-1 ... Vanderbilt beat New Mexico State 21-1 on Saturday in an NCAA regional, ending the Aggies baseball season with 24-34 record.
6
College baseball: Aggies' upset bid falls short
Baseball
The New Mexico State Aggies' bid ... The New Mexico State Aggies' bid for a stunning college baseball upset Friday night ended in anticlimactic fashion with a 10th-inning, bases-loaded walk, giving ...
7
Aggies are set to open baseball regional
Baseball
To face host Oregon State Friday ... To face host Oregon State Friday in Corvallis
8
Aggies' improbable run to NCAA baseball berth takes them ...
Baseball
It doesn't matter that New Mexico ... It doesn't matter that New Mexico State finished with a losing record. Or, to bring it home, that th ...
9
Aggies go from worst seed to WAC championship baseball ...
Baseball
New Mexico State's baseball team, which ... New Mexico State's baseball team, which has gotten hot in timely fashion, is one win away from an NCAA regionals berth. The Aggies (23-32) ...