Raiders Win 14-13 Slugfest Behind Five RBIs from HinesMay 22, 2005 · MT Media Relations
Hines collected three singles, a double and a home run, making up for his 0-of-8 effort in the first two games of the series. The freshman singled in the first and third, doubled home a run in the fourth, hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and drove in the winning run with a two-run single in the seventh. It was just the second five-hit game of the year for Middle Tennessee, with Todd Martin collecting the other March 25 at Arkansas-Little Rock.
The game was tied at three after three innings before the visiting Aggies scored five times in the top of the fourth. But the Blue Raiders came right back with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Middle Tennessee added a single run in the fifth and two in the sixth before NMSU took the lead again with another five-run inning, this one in the seventh.
But the home team, in their final appearance of the season at Reese Smith Field, scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead for good, with Michael McKenry doubling home a run before Hines' two-run, two-out single to left scored Nate Jaggers and McKenry.
Eric McNamee, Jaggers and McKenry all had three hits in Middle Tennessee's 19-hit attack, while McKenry scored three times and drove in four runs in the victory.
Jeff Kasser (2-3), the third Blue Raider pitcher of the day, picked up the win, allowing three runs on five hits in three innings of work. Kasser walked three and struck out two, working scoreless frames in the final two innings.
Tyler Sturdevant (0-1), the fourth NMSU hurler, took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits in two innings, walking two and striking out three.
Middle Tennesse starter Chase Swing allowed six runs in six hits in 3.2 innings, tying a career-high with six strikeouts. NMSU starter Bryan Robinson gave up six runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings, striking out two.
The Aggies struck first in the contest after a leadoff triple to rightcenter by Vince Rodden. Mark Aranda's sacrifice fly to center plated the run for a 1-0 NMSU lead after a half inning.
But the lead was short-lived, as the Raiders struck for three runs in the bottom of the first.
McNamee doubled to leftcenter to leadoff, and Todd Martin followed with a single to right. With one out McKenry collected his first hit of the series, a three-run homer to leftcenter, for his 13th round-tripper of the season and a 3-1 Middle Tennessee advantage.
NMSU knotted the contest in the third, scoring twice on a pair of hits and with the aid of two hit batters.
Jason Long was hit with one out and Xardiel Cotto singled with two outs. Aranda was then hit, loading the bases, before Luke Hopkins blooped a single into left, scoring a pair of runs to tie the game at three.
The Aggies scored five times in the fourth to retake the lead, chasing Swing from the contest.
Adam Harvey and Dayton Ries both singled to start, and the two runners advanced on a groundout from Robby Schildgen. Swing induced a pop fly for the second out, but Rodden ended the righthander's day with a two-run single up the middle.
Cotto laced a double to right against reliever Josh Anderson, and Aranda drilled his 22nd homer of the year onto the football practice field beyond the rightfield wall for an 8-3 NMSU edge.
But the Raiders came right back with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, with Chase Eakes reaching after being hit to start the inning. McNamee plated a run with a double down the leftfield line, and went to third on a groundout from Martin.
McNamee scored on a wild pitch before Jaggers blasted a solo homer deep into the football stadium in leftfield, his 13th of the year, chasing Robinson from the game.
McKenry greeted NMSU reliever Brian Gausman with a sharp single to left, and Jeff Beachum followed with a liner down the leftfield line, scoring McKenry. A double to center from Hines plated Beachum, tying the contest at eight.
Middle Tennessee took the lead in the fifth when Eakes singled to leadoff. Pinch-runner Doug Birkofer moved around on a pair of groundouts and scored on a single through the middle from Jaggers for a 9-8 Blue Raiders advantage.
Adam Warren was hit with one out in the sixth and Hines followed with a two-run homer down the rightfield line, his fourth of the year, giving the home team an 11-8 edge.
The Aggies posted their second five-run inning of the contest in the seventh to retake the lead again, collecting six hits.
Cotto singled and Aranda doubled off the wall in centerfield before an infield single from Hopkins plated a run. Kasser struck out the next two batters before a bloop single to right from Patrick Fields scored Aranda.
Schildgen singled to load the bases, and Lane's single to left tie the contest at 11. Rodden walked to force in a run, as did Cotto, giving NMSU a 13-11 advantage.
The Blue Raiders came back with three runs in their half of the frame to claim for good.
Martin walked to leadoff and Jaggers followed with a single to right. McKenry's double down the leftfield line scored pinch-runner Wayne Kendrick. After a line out and a strikeout, Hines lined a single to left, scoring both runners for a 14-13 Middle Tennessee advantage.
Kasser walked the leadoff batter in the eighth before getting a doubleplay. Fields singled to leadoff the ninth for the Aggies, but was erased on a superb twin-killing from McNamee to Beachum to Josh Horn at first.
Middle Tennessee and New Mexico State will meet for the first time in the SBC Championships Wednesday. The Blue Raiders have reached the championship game the past two seasons and are 10-5 in the Sun Belt Tournament since joining the league in 2001.
Eric McNamee extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff double in the first ... Jeff Beachum extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the first ... Chase Swing tied his career-high with six strikeouts in the game, the third six-strikeout performance of his career and first since 2003.
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