Just hop on the bus, Gus and set your bats free…

(With apologies to Paul Simon)

When the New Mexico State University baseball team made arrangements to go to Mesa, AZ, for the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament last week, the school didn’t have the budget to charter a fancy jet to make the relatively short journey to Arizona. The plan was to charter a lowly bus.

Well, it turns out the bus was even lowlier than they had anticipated. Two times on the 388-mile journey, the bus broke down, leaving the team stranded for about one hour and 40 minutes the first time and about 45 minutes the second time. Team members were forced to wait for repairs for more than two hours parked alongside Interstate 10 while temperatures were blistering near or above the 100 degree mark.

Getting into the tournament itself wasn’t easy, with the Aggies just barely sliding into the brackets by winning its final regular-season series against Utah Valley. The game included a seven-run ninth-inning comeback for the Aggies.

However, the Aggies were undaunted and managed to work their way into the championship game by knocking off two of the top seeds. The aggies first defeated top-seeded Utah Valley State, then punished the University of Texas Rio Grande 10-0 in a game called by the mercy rule in the 7th inning.

Aggie baseball players celebrate in game at WAC championships in Mesa.

And on Friday, the underdog Aggies defeated Abilene Christian University 7-1 to take the WAC championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA baseball tournament.

The Aggies will now travel to Corvallis, Oregon, to face the No. 3 seeded Oregon State Beavers on Friday, June 3.

I’m sure they’ll get there on a plane for this game. But maybe traveling by a “break-down” bus would bring them good luck.

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