LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State baseball team gets set for a weekend contest against Xavier at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. on Sunday, March 17, at 12 p.m. MT. After Nebraska had to cancel the Aggies weekend series due to field conditions, the team was able to make up one of those three games with the contest against the Musketeers.
With four minor league baseball games going on at the Camelback Ranch facility on Sunday, NM State and Xavier are set to play on field five with first pitch set for noon MT. This is scheduled to be the first game in program history between the Aggies and Musketeers.
Two games remain for Xavier out in Phoenix, Ariz. against NM State’s conference opponent Grand Canyon, leading up to Sunday’s clash. The Musketeers currently sit at 6-9 overall after splitting the first two games of the series versus the Lopes.
The Musketeer offense posts a .253 team batting average with 74 runs scored 36 extra-base hits. Ryan Altenberger who has a team-high .340 batting average and leads Xavier with six stolen bases through 15 starts has led the offensive charge. Of the regular Musketeer starters, three have a batting average over .300.
For the Xavier pitching staff, the hurlers have combined for a 6.92 earned run average with 109 strikeouts over 128.2 innings pitched. The staff has also held opposing hitters to a .287 batting average, while allowing 47 extra-base hits including 20 home runs.
NM State continues to lead the NCAA in batting average (.393), hits (261), home runs (40), on-base percentage (.498), runs (240), scoring (13.3), slugging percentage (.687) and triples (15). Aggie players also lead the nation in various categories with sophomore Nick Gonzales still leading the national Triple Crown race with highs in batting average (.549), home runs (11) and runs batted in (43), while also leading the country in hits (45), runs (34), slugging percentage (1.061) and total bases (87). Teammate Tristen Carranza is also tied with Gonzales for the NCAA-lead in homers.
The most recent game for NM State saw the team fall on the road to undefeated No. 9 Arizona State, 7-3. A low-scoring game for the nation’s top-two offenses saw the Sun Devils able to answer each run the Aggies put up and the Crimson & White were not able to close the gap at the end.
Following the game with Xavier, the New Mexico State baseball team remains in the Grand Canyon State to take on Arizona on Tuesday, March 19, at 6 p.m. MT at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Ariz.