Mejia offers; Offense stumbles for NM State on Friday.

The basics
game forty two
Score: NM State 2, California Baptist 6
Recordings: NM State (18-24, 8-14 WAC); California Baptist (27-15; 13-9 WAC)
Location: Riverside, CA (James W. Totman Stadium)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Sometimes a dominant start on the mound isn’t quite enough to lead a baseball team to victory. NM State learned this the hard way, despite by Ian Mejia stellar start. In Game 1 of the series, the Aggies fell 6-2 to California Baptist on the road.

There is an area and there is everything that Mejia is currently doing. After winning National Player of the Week honors from college baseball for his dominating start on Dixie State, Mejia posted similar numbers on Friday against California Baptist. The Tucson, Arizona native stoked 11 more after knocking out 13 Trailblazers in his last start.

The offense was minimal for the Aggies in the series opener. Logan Gallina broke the Lancers’ no-hitter bid in the fourth inning with his 17th homer of the season. The towering home run was the only hit of the game for NM State.

The Aggies got another run in the fifth inning without producing a run. Cal Villareal drew a front walk AJ Garcia reached on an error. With two on board, Nolan Funk was hit by a throw to charge the bases for Cal Kilgore. The first-year receiver weakly hit a ball to the pitcher but the Lancer arm was unable to make a clean play, allowing Villareal to score from the third.

Three runs from California Baptist gave the Lancers an early entry. Taking advantage of a pair of errors, the Lancers got off to a hot start, highlighted by back-to-back doubles.

Mejia and the Aggies held California Baptist at bay until the seventh inning. After striking out the first two batters of the inning, Mejia prompted what appeared to be a routine fly ball. The ball was lost in the lights, allowing the Lancers to score a run. Another single gave California Baptist their second run of the inning and cut the lead to three runs.

California Baptist added an insurance run late in the eighth inning. Leading 6-2 in the ninth inning, the California Baptist reliever was looking to complete a 12-out stoppage. He did exactly that when the Aggies had two runners to reach with no real threat to score in frame.

Quick shots

  • With 11 strikeouts on Friday, Ian Mejia has fanned 24 in his last two starts.
  • As a team, NM State batted 14 times Friday night, walking just four times.
  • Brendon Rodriguez worked a scoreless inning in relief from Mejia and Josh Laukkanen.
  • The one-hitter was the first for California Baptist since transitioning to NCAA Division I.

On the bridge

NM State will be back in action Saturday against California Baptist. The first pitch will be thrown at 6:00 PM MT and all the action will be streamed on ESPN+.

For complete coverage of NM State baseball throughout the 2022 Aggies campaign, visit NMStateSports.com – the official home of Aggie athletics – and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Baseball), Twitter (@NMStateBaseball) and Instagram (@NMStateBaseball).

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