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The New Mexico State University baseball team took an early 4-1 lead against top-seeded Grand Canyon University but lost 5-4 Thursday night in Mesa, Arizona in the WAC Tournament quarterfinals.
The Aggies will next play at noon today in a rematch with fifth-seeded Seattle University, whom the Aggies beat 7-5 on Wednesday in the tournament’s opening round.
Thursday night, Aggies scored three runs in the top of the first against Grand Canyon and led 4-1 after three, but couldn’t hold on.
The Aggies are now 20-33 overall.
Brandon Rodriguez took the loss in relief. The lefty allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings. Starter Sammy Natera, of Juarez, pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, three runs (two earned) and three walks. Natera, who played his high school ball at Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, struck out six.
Ethan Mann went 2-for-4 for the Aggies and has now reached base in 12 straight games.
Cal Villareal also went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Brandon Dieter had two RBIs for his 12th multiple RBI game of the season.
Las Cruces native Zerek Saenz went 0-for-4 and saw his eight-game hitting streak end. He did extend his one-base streak to nine straight games.