LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Harvard baseball team (2-5) nearly swept day two against New Mexico State (7-4) after going extra innings in game one and securing a victory in game two. The Crimson scored seven unanswered runs to erase a 5-0 deficit and entered the ninth up 9-8 before the Aggies made their final push to take the game. On the back end, Chad Minato and Ben Skinner combined to bat home three runners in the ninth to take the 5-4 lead while Hunter Bigge saved the win with three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth.
On day two in Las Cruces, five players posted batting averages .375 or over. Chad Minato and Nate Stephens hit .500, Ben Skinner hit .444 and Austin Black and Hunter Bigge registered .375 over the two games. Minato and Skinner totaled 5 RBI apiece, while Patrick McColl contributed two and Buddy Hayward and Bigge added one each.
Game One: Harvard 9, New Mexico State 11 (10 Innings)
Standouts for Harvard in game one included Ben Skinner who totaled 3 RBI while Hunter Bigge went two-for-four at the plate, batted in one and scored three times. Chad Minato also made an impact on offense, connecting on two of three at bats and driving in three runners.
New Mexico State put itself up 3-0 in the bottom of the second before notching two more in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.
Harvard's offense exploded in the fifth, scoring four runs. Austin Black put the Crimson on the board after Chad Minato was hit by a John Dehn pitch. Immediately after, Dehn hit Ben Skinner, driving home Hunter Bigge. After changing pitchers, McColl knocked out a single to right field that allowed Chad Minato and Jake Allen to come home, putting Harvard within one.
New Mexico State would score in the sixth and seventh to go up 8-7 but the Crimson would chip back in the eighth, going up 9-8. The Aggies rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth forcing and extra inning where they batted in two to take the first game 11-9.
Game Two: Harvard 5, New Mexico State 4 (9 Innings)
Ben Skinner shined on offense, connecting on three of five at bats in game two. Skinner also had 2 RBI and added a score himself in the game. Chad Minato drove in two runners and went one-for-three at bat.
Kevin Stone earned his first win of the season, throwing eight innings for the Crimson. Stone powered through 115 total pitches, allowing just five hits from the Aggies and striking out two. Hunter Bigge took the mound in the ninth, earning his first save of season and second of his career. Bigge struck out three batters.
After a quick fourth inning, the Aggies sent in three on a Joey Ortiz homerun to take the lead, 4-2.
The sixth, seventh and eighth innings were quiet before Chad Minato and Ben Skinner batted home three runners combined to win the game for the Crimson. With two outs on the board, Minato singled up the middle, sending in Hunter Bigge and Patrick Robinson. Minato then stole second, followed by a run into home on Ben Skinner's third hit of the day.
Hunter Bigge struck out three batters in the bottom of the ninth to secure the 5-4 win for Harvard.
The Crimson will finish out the series with New Mexico State tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. EST. The game will air live on ESPN3.