Aggies Swept National Champs in Tucson

Rocky Ward
On March 20th and 21st the Aggie baseball team travelled to Tucson, Arizona to play a two-game series with the 5th-ranked Arizona Wildcats. NMSU emerged from the two day road trip with a road series sweep (7-4, 13-8) of……. this year’s eventual National Champion. Last night the Andy Lopez-coached Wildcats completed a two game sweep of two time defending national champion South Carolina in Omaha before a sell-out crowd on national television. The reasons why NMSU has a such a great baseball program are numerous. It begins with the son-father coaching team of Rocky and Gary Ward. The Wards are simply magnets for baseball talent.
What is a mystery is why leadership at NMSU won’t commit to building the team a modern baseball facility that would enable the Aggies to host NCAA Regional and Super Regional tournaments. The NMSU baseball program has already proven it is competitive at the most elite level in college baseball. Unfortunately, until the Aggies stop playing home games at a ballpark that is inferior to several high school facilities in this state, there are limits to what the program will be able to accomplish.
Ray Tanner (left) and Andy Lopez (right)
The recruiting strategy at NMSU is to do their best to get good players to come to the school. Unfortunately, inviting recruits for a visit is NOT part of the recruiting strategy. The coaching staff realizes their chances to sign top talent will only go down if a prospective player gets a glimpse of Presley Askew Field before signing.
Five years ago, the New Mexico State University baseball program accomplished a similar feat when it swept a double header on the road from eventual NCAA Champion Fresno State. Before and after those victories the Aggie baseball has been a virtual after-thought in the New Mexico State University Athletic Department. Based on merit alone it is time for this situation to change.



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