LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KVEO) – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros baseball team hit a season-high tying three home runs to beat the New Mexico State University Aggies 8-5 on Friday at Presley Askew Field.
The Vaqueros (22-17, 13-8 WAC) are now winners of seven in a row.
Graduate student Andy Atwood led the Vaqueros offensively by going 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. This was Atwood’s fifth game of at least three hits over the last seven games, during which time he is 18-for-30 (.600) with four home runs, two doubles, one triple, three walks, nine RBI, 12 runs scored, and a .647 on-base percentage.
Senior Jacob Hirsh went 2-for-3 with his first-career home run and two RBI. Junior Freddy Rojas Jr. finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Junior Angel De La Cruz went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Jacob Flores went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and a run scored.
The Vaqueros scored their first five runs on home runs, starting when Hirsh hit a solo shot off of Rorik Maltrud (2-3) in the second to make the score 1-0. Graduate student Coleman Grubbs followed with a two-run shot in the third to make the score 3-0.
Then, with the score 3-2 in the fifth, Atwood hit a two-run home run to put the Vaqueros up three.
The score was 5-3 in the seventh when De La Cruz hit an RBI-double. One out later, junior Vela alum RJ Ochoa hit an RBI single and Hirsh came up with a sacrifice fly to put the Vaqueros up 8-3.
Senior Kevin Stevens (5-4) made the runs stand up, striking out seven in 7.0 innings while allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks.
The Aggies (14-25, 11-14 WAC) scored their first two runs in the fourth on an Ethan Mann home run and a Britt Graham safety squeeze.
Kevin Jimenez drove-in a run for the Aggies in the fifth with a two-out RBI-single.
Mann added an RBI-double in the eighth and Zerek Saenz drove in a run with a two-out single in the ninth.
UTRGV and New Mexico State play games two and three of this four-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m.