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New Mexico State Wins Wild 11-Inning Game to Upset No. 2 Seed UNLV 14-12
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 05/30/2003
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May 30, 2003

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- New Mexico State All-American first baseman Billy Becher went 4-for-6 with four RBI as the No. 3 seed Aggies scored three runs in the top of the 11th inning to knock off No. 2 seed UNLV Friday afternoon at Tempe Diablo Stadium in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

New Mexico State looked to have the game locked up with an 11-5 lead after seven innings, but the Rebels stormed back to score six runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 11-11. After scoring the tying run in the bottom of the eighth, UNLV left the bases loaded. The Rebels also left a run in scoring position in the 10th and had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the 11th.

The Aggies plated the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th on a fielding error by UNLV shortstop Peter White. Becher plated two more runs in the inning on a single up the middle to pad the NMSU lead.

Aggie relief pitcher Andrew Garretson (8-2) earned the win giving up three hits and one run in three and a third innings. Starting pitcher Jason Williams left in line to record the win, giving up just five runs (four earned) and seven hits in seven innings.

UNLV reliever Ryan Braun was saddled with the loss giving up four hits and three runs (one earned) in three innings.

In addition to Becher's big game, second baseman Brad Ditter (3-for-4, 3 RBI) and catcher Beau Blacken (2-for-6, 3 RBI) helped pace the 17-hit Aggie attack. Blacken hit his 14th homer of the year and shortstop Hal Bisnett recorded his ninth homer of the year.

UNLV had four players record multi-hit games in the loss. Center fielder Patrick Dobson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and hit his 19th double of the year. Catcher Robert VanKirk also went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

UNLV lead early 5-2, but New Mexico State scored five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 7-5 lead. Shortstop Hal Bisnett added to the Aggie lead with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to extend the NMSU lead to 8-5. The Rebels threatened in the seventh loading the bases with one out, but Williams got UNLV's two biggest hitters (Fernando Valenzuela and Dobson) to fly out to end the threat and the inning.

UNLV used six walks, three hits, two balks and two passed balls to score six runs to erase the 11-5 NMSU lead to tie the game. The Rebels sent 12 batters to the plate, with everyone in the lineup reaching base in the frame. The six-run rally started after two outs were recorded with no one on base.

New Mexico State will pay the winner of the Arizona State/Central Connecticut State game (7 p.m.) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. UNLV moves to the loser's bracket and will play either the loser of ASU/CCSU Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

Game Notes: Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/Sports Weekly named NMSU first baseman Billy Becher a First-Team All-American... Becher drilled a home run off the palm tree in right-center field for his NCAA leading 32nd home run of the year to lead off the top of the second inning... Becher is a Tempe native, attending McClintock High School with Arizona State first baseman Jeff Larish... UNLV third baseman Brent Johnson hit his 18th double of the year in the fourth inning, adding to his UNLV career-leading total of 68.

New Mexico State 14, UNLV 12 (5/30/2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)
New Mexico State.... 011 005 130 03 - 14 17  3      (43-16)
UNLV................ 020 210 060 01 - 12 13  2      (45-16)
Pitchers: New Mexico State - WILLIAMS; SMITH(8); GARRETSON(8).
Win-GARRETSON(8-2)  Loss-BRAUN(5-3)  T-4:20  A-681
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