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NM State baseball ready for NCAA tourney

Aggies will battle in the Corvallis regional with No. 3 Oregon State, Vanderbilt and San Diego

Posted

NCAA Corvallis Regional – Game One 

NM State vs. No. 3 Oregon State 

Friday, June 3 | 8:00 p.m. MT | Goss Stadium at Coleman Field | Corvallis, Ore. 

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – For the second time in four seasons, the NM State baseball program is heading back to the NCAA Tournament. While the Aggies had made a pair of postseason appearances recently, it will be just the sixth time in school history that the Aggies are going dancing.  
 
On Friday night, the Aggies will get underway with regional host and No. 3 Oregon State at 8:00 p.m. MT on ESPN U. Ian Mejia will get the ball for NM State, opposing top prospect Cooper Hjerpe who will throw for the Beavers.  
 
AGGIE FACTS 

  • NM State punched its first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2018 with a 7-1 win over Abilene Christian in the WAC Baseball Tournament Championship game. The Aggies went a perfect 4-0 throughout the week in Mesa.  
  • The Aggies were the fourth seed in the West Division, finishing sixth but California Baptist and Dixie State were ineligible for postseason play as reclassifying members. NM State needed to win two of three over Utah Valley in the final week of play to qualify for the tourney. 
  • The title was the second WAC Championship in NM State history with the other coming in 2018. In the Lubbock Regional, the Aggies fell to top-seeded Texas A&M (9-2) and Kent State (2-1). 
  • In the WAC Baseball Tournament, NM State never trailed, outscoring opponents 27-5. 
  • Throughout the WAC Tournament, the Aggies banded together around the rallying cry, "Why not us?". Started by Frank Dickson IV's father, players and fans alike joined in on the battle cry throughout the Cinderella run.  
  • The trip to Corvallis will be NM State's sixth regional appearance. Previously, the Aggies have a 1-8 record in NCAA postseason play with the lone win coming in the 2003 Tempe Regional with a 14-12 win over two-seed UNLV. 
  • Postseason history for the Aggies includes 2002 and 2003 (Tempe Regional), 2012 (Tucson Regional), and 2018 (Lubbock Regional). 
  • While it is Mike Kirby's first NCAA Regional appearance as a head coach, the skipper has a wealth of postseason experience, including a 1995 College World Series championship at Cal State Fullerton and four trips to Omaha with the Titans. 
  • During the WAC Tournament, the NM State pitching staff compiled a 4-0 record with 34.0 innings pitched, a 1.06 ERA, seven walks allowed, and issued 31 strikeouts.  
  • Cal Villareal earned WAC Tournament MVP honors while Tommy TabakNolan FunkeIan Mejia, and Pablo Cortes all earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.  
  • With Grand Canyon receiving an at-large bid to the tournament field, the WAC becomes one of just 11 conferences around the country to receive multiple bids. 
  • The last time the WAC was a multi-bid league came in 2012 when NM State was selected as an at-large team alongside Fresno State. The Aggies were a two-seed in the Tucson regional, where they fell to Louisville (3-2) and Missouri (6-2).  
  •  Throughout the year, NM State went to battle in eight games against eventual NCAA Regional Teams. The Aggies played Grand Canyon six times and Arizona twice. 
  • Riding a four-game winning streak since the beginning of the WAC Tournament, the Aggies are approaching the longest winning streak of the season (Five from February 19-27). 
  • Coming into the regional, NM State is 2-5 all-time against Oregon State, 0-3 against San Diego, and has never faced Vanderbilt. 
  • When former Oregon State All-American Adley Rutschman made his MLB debut in late May, former Aggie Kyle Bradish was the other half of the Orioles battery. 


ABOUT THE BEAVERS 
The Beavers enter the 2022 Corvallis Regional as the third-overall seed across the country. The Beavers fell in the Pac-12 championship game to Stanford, 9-5. In conference play this season, Oregon State finished with a 20-10 record, winning the Pac-12 regular-season title.  
 
In two games against Grand Canyon, the Beavers split the series. Oregon State was also slated to play Seattle U but the game was canceled. 
 
The Beavers have lifted the trophy in Omaha three times before. In 2006 and 2007, Oregon State claimed back-to-back College World Series titles before once again reaching the mountain top in 2018. The Beavers have claimed 26 conference championships and made 20 NCAA Tournament Appearances, making it to Omaha seven times. 
 
Mitch Canham is in his third season as the head coach of Oregon State baseball. Thus far, Canham has posted an 81-42 record. Legendary OSU head coach Pat Casey retired after the 2018 College World Series championship, winning 900 games in his career. 
 
Former Beaver and top prospect Adley Rutschman made his MLB debut on May 21. Rutschman, a catcher and former number one overall pick, was the battery mate of former NM State pitcher Kyle Bradish in his first Major League game. 
 
ABOUT THE COMMODORES 
The Commodores head to Corvallis as the number two seed in the regional. Vanderbilt suffered back-to-back losses to Tennessee and Kentucky in the SEC Tournament to be eliminated. Nonetheless, the Commodores captured an at-large bid with a 36-21 record. 
 
Vanderbilt hits the road for a regional for the first time since 2018. In 2019 and 2021, the Commodores won the Nashville Regional and the Nashville Super Regional, advancing to Omaha for the College World Series. In 2019, the Commodores were hoisting the trophy as College World Series champions.  
 
In the last postseason trip to Corvallis, the Commodores were eliminated by the Beavers in the 2017 Corvallis Super Regional.  
 
Throughout the 2022 regular season, Vanderbilt played ranked opponents 19 times and posted an 8-11 record. 
 
Tim Corbin is in his 20th season as Vanderbilt's head coach. Under Corbin, the Commodores have produced top MLB talents such as Walker Buehler, David Price, Mike Yastremski, Dansby Swanson, and 2021 second overall pick Jack Leiter. 
 
ABOUT THE TOREROS 
San Diego posted a 36-18 record in the regular season, including a 17-10 record in the West Coast Conference.  
 
The Toreros took two of three games over Grand Canyon and swept the two-game season series against California Baptist, posting a 4-1 record against WAC opponents.  
 
The trip to Corvallis will be the ninth postseason trip in San Diego's history and the first trip since 2013 when future MLB Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Kris Bryant led the Toreros. 
 
Much like NM State, the Toreros were considered a bid stealer in the NCAA Tournament after winning the WCC Tournament, upsetting nationally-ranked Gonzaga twice. 

ABOUT THE CORVALLIS REGIONAL 
The Corvallis Regional will begin with a game between No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 San Diego at 1 p.m. PT on Friday. The Aggies and Oregon State will meet at 7 p.m. PT with the game being televised on ESPN U.  
 
John Schriffen and Kevin Stocker will have the call for ESPN while Adam Young will be on 99.5 FM Zia Country and ESPN Radio 101.7 FM  The TEAM Albuquerque bringing the call back to fans in New Mexico. Fans can also find Young's call on The Varsity Network app.  
 
For complete coverage of NM State baseball throughout the 2022 Corvallis Regional, visit NMStateSports.com - the official home of Aggie athletics - and follow the Aggies on Facebook (NM State Baseball), Twitter (@NMStateBaseball), and Instagram (@NMStateBaseball).