May 31, 2002
MESA, Ariz.- The Houston Cougars notched three first-inning runs with two outs and cruised to a 9-0 win in the first game of the Arizona State NCAA Baseball Regional at Hohokam Stadium Friday.
Houston starter Brad Sullivan, who was the 2002 Conference USA Pitcher of the Year and today named a Collegiate Baseball first-team All-American, shut down New Mexico State (37-24) by scattering six hits over nine innings in a game-time temperature of 106 degrees.
The Cougars (45-15) came out of the gates hot with three, two-out runs on four hits in the first frame. First baseman Brett Cooley brought home the first two runs with a two-run home run over the right field wall for his 18th round-tripper of the year. A walk and two singles, followed by a RBI single to the left field gap by second baseman Stuart Musslewhite capped the three-run inning.
Houston added to its lead with three more runs in the home half of the third to extend the lead to 6-0. Shortstop Jesse Crain plated all three runs with his 11th home run of the year. UH threatened to add more, but left the bases loaded to end the inning.
After being held scoreless from the fourth until sixth inning, the Cougars tabbed their third three-run inning in the seventh led by Sam Mitchell's two-run double.
Jason Williams (8-2) took the loss for New Mexico State, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. The NCAA appearance is the first for the Aggies.
Houston will play the winner of tonight's 6 p.m. Arizona time/9 p.m. ET game between San Diego and Arizona State at 2 p.m. Saturday while NMSU will take on the loser at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.