Keaton Cenatiempo delivers a pitch against New Mexico State on Tuesday. BYU lost 8-6. (Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Eight runs allowed in the fifth and six innings stung BYU baseball in an 8-6 loss to New Mexico State Tuesday at Miller Park.
"I felt like we were on our heels and came out complacent," BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. "The feeling in the dugout was that we were just going to show up and win the game. New Mexico State is too good of a team for us to do that. The guys know where they need to go and what they need to do for that to happen."
The Cougars (7-8) had 10 hits but stranded 10 runners and surrendered five earned runs from the bullpen to drop back below .500 on the season. BYU took the initial lead against the Aggies and held it through four innings.
Kyle Dean took two bases on a wild pitch to score BYU’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. A low offering to batter Nate Favero took a sharp bounce toward the Cougar dugout to allow Dean to take third base, round it and sprint home before Aggie catcher Mason Fishback could corral the ball and send it home.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Favero roped a single to right field to score Keaton Kringlen from second base and give the Cougars a 2-0 lead.
Mason Marshall (loss, 0-2) replaced starting pitcher Keaton Cenatiempo in the fifth inning. Cenatiempo went four innings, giving up four hits and no runs.
Marshall got into trouble in the top of the fifth inning and walked Brent Sakurai with the bases loaded for the first New Mexico State run. The Aggies took a 3-2 lead a couple pitches later, as Tristen Carranza sent a single up the middle to bring two runners home.
Rhett Parkinson began the sixth inning on the mound for BYU and allowed three hits and beaned a batter before being relieved by Connor Williams. Williams gave up consecutive triples before getting the third out. All said, New Mexico State plated five runners for a 8-2 lead.
The Cougars chipped away with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, capped by David Clawson's two-run double. No runs in the last two innings gave the Aggies the 8-6 win.
BYU stays at Miller Park for a three-game series against Connecticut with the opener on Thursday at 6 p.m. MDT.