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Solid Defense And Pitching Lead San Diego To 2-1 Win Over NMSU
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/01/2002
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June 1, 2002

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MESA, Ariz. -- A solid pitching performance by starter Tom Caple helped lift the San Diego Toreros to a 2-1 win over New Mexico State, eliminating the Aggies from tournament play in game three of the Arizona State NCAA Baseball Regional at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz., Saturday.

USD improves its record to 39-22 overall, while NMSU, making its first NCAA appearance in school history, goes home with a record 37-25.

Caple improved to 9-5 on the year with seven brilliant innings. Caple, who started in center field in Friday's 6-3 opening-round loss to Arizona State, allowed only five hits and struck out four. Reliever Tony Perez allowed one unearned run in two innings to pick up his seventh save of the year.

NMSU starter Christian Jackson was saddled with the tough-luck loss, falling to 5-6 on the year despite giving a solid performance in the Aggie's 2002 season finale. Jackson scattered four hits and stuck out four in six and a third innings. Reliever Mike Smith contributed 1.2 perfect innings out of the bullpen to keep the Aggies close down the stretch.

The game was locked in a pitcher's duel until San Diego broke the scoreless game with a two-out run in the bottom of the fourth. A double by third baseman David Bagley set up a run-scoring groundout from catcher S.C. Assael. The Toreros added a run in the next frame with another two-out tally when leadoff hitter Mike McCoy singled to left field to score first baseman Jason Marian.

The Toreros threatened to add to their 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh, but NMSU reliever Mike Smith inherited runners on first and third with only one out and did not allow a run to score.

New Mexico State finally solved the San Diego pitching staff in the top of the eighth with a two-out unearned run. A walk to catcher Erik Winegarden, followed by a two-base throwing error from relief pitcher Tony Perez set up the two-out single from first-team Collegiate Baseball All-American Gabe Veloz. The Aggies nearly tied the game when first baseman David Licini drove the ball down the left field line, but USD defensive replacement Gavin Ng made a diving catch to preserve the one-run lead.

San Diego will now wait to play the loser of the Houston and Arizona State game that follows at Hohokam Stadium at 2 p.m.

San Diego 2, New Mexico State 1 (Jun 01, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
New Mexico State.... 000 000 010  -  1  6  1      (37-25)
San Diego........... 000 110 00X  -  2  4  1      (39-22)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: New Mexico State - Jackson; Smith(7). San Diego - Caple; Perez(8).
Win-Caple(9-5)  Save-Perez(7)  Loss-Jackson(5-6)  T-2:26  A-439
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