SAN ANTONIO — New Mexico State scored twice in the ninth inning and had the tying run at third base, but Matt Sims induced back-to-back fly outs to close out the game and UTSA picked up a 6-5 victory on Saturday at Roadrunner Field.
The Aggies (27-23, 12-11 WAC) trailed 6-3 entering the ninth, but back-to-back fielding errors by the Roadrunners (27-22, 11-11 WAC) opened the door for a potential comeback.
Sims then entered the game and gave up a run-scoring single to Michael Medina, which cut UTSA's lead to two. Two batters later, Tanner Rust singled through the right side and sent Kent Blackstone across the plate to pull the Aggies to within a run. Sims then forced Parker Hipp to fly out to right field and, four pitches later, induced a Robert Lecount pop out to Daniel Rockett in shallow center to end the contest.
Sims earned his sixth save of the year after Michael Kraft (4-5) logged a quality start. The left-hander limited New Mexico State to a run on three hits over the first six panels of the game. He also walked four and struck out a pair. Jordan Pacheco then worked a scoreless seventh and allowed two runs in the eighth before the two fielding miscues chased him from the contest a frame later.
UTSA built a 5-0 lead through the first four innings.
The Roadrunners scored in the first on Mike Warren's run-scoring single and, three panels later, UTSA plated four runs, including a pair on Rockett's two-out single to left.
However, the Aggies started to chip away at the lead.
New Mexico State picked up a run in the fifth and two more in the eighth to cut the deficit to 5-3.
UTSA answered with Rodney Garza's RBI single to right in the bottom of the stanza, which proved to be just enough insurance.
The Roadrunners collected nine singles against two Aggies hurlers.
Rockett led the way with a 2-for-4 performance that included two RBIs, while Garza also added a pair of hits.
Meanwhile, New Mexico State managed eight knocks and Rust had two of them.
Ryan Beck (7-4) allowed six runs on eight hits over seven stanzas of work.
The Roadrunners will go for their first three-game Western Athletic Conference sweep of the season at 1 p.m. Sunday. Prior to the contest, the Birds will honor their five seniors – Garza, Andrew Keplinger, Rockett, Clint Sharp and Jake Wood.
Left-hander Nolan Trabanino (3-3, 5.08 ERA) will start on the mound for UTSA, while the Aggies are scheduled to send righty Michael Ormseth (3-3, 7.17 ERA) to the pitching rubber.