WINTSON-SALEM, N.C. - Senior left-hand pitcher Ryan Beck started his first game of the year and led his team to a 4-0 shutout over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., Sunday, March, 3. The Aggies improve to 4-8 on the season and the Demon Deacons are now 9-3.
Beck was very efficient on Sunday, throwing 6.0 innings, striking out seven batters while not walking a single batter. Senior right-hander Casey Collins earned the first save of his career entering the game in the seventh and striking out two. Beck is now 2-0 on the year and might move back into a starting role.
"We had great pitching and nine base hits so it was a good all-around effort today," head coach Rocky Ward said. "It is good to get the win and it is going to be good to get back home and play in front of our fans."
Beck retired 11-of-12 batters from the second-fifth innings as the only batter to reach got on with an error.
Junior catcher Tanner Rust led the offense as he went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored, including the first run of the day on a wild pitch in the second inning. First baseman Michael Paulson followed Rust also scoring on a wild pitch in the second.
"Rust is a warrior and he got out of a rut. He is a very good teammate to the ball club and cares about everyone on the team," Ward said. "It was a kind of break-out day for him and it is good for him to have the kind of day he did."
The Aggies extended their lead in the top of the sixth when senior Cody Edwards blasted a double down the right-field line bringing in Rust and Paulson. Collins allowed three hits and a walk but the Deacons never seemed to threaten.
NM State takes on La Salle in a four-game series starting, Friday, March 8 at 6:05 p.m. (MT) in Las Cruces. For tickets call 575-646-1420 or purchase them at the ticket booth the day of the game.