Scaperotta and Hardt Lead Aggies to Victory
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  04/01/2008

LAS CRUCES, N.M. Senior outfielders Joseph Scaperotta and Tyler Hardt led the Aggies to a 17-15 victory over CSU-Pueblo at Presley Askew Field, Tuesday, April 1.


Scaperotta (San Diego, Calif.) hit two home runs and came up with four RBI, while Hardt (Hereford, Ariz.) went 4-of-5 at the plate with five RBI and a walk to help get the Aggies over .500 (13-12) for the first time March 13 when they were 6-5.


“This is a very important series for us to win,” head coach Rocky Ward said.  “It would be great to go back into conference play with some momentum and a winning record.”


Sophomore pitcher Casey Amundson (Vancouver, Wash.) came into the game in the fifth inning and worked for 2 2/3 innings.  He picked up his first win of the year, while he struck out three batters on the night.


NMSU jumped ahead right away when junior right fielder Franky Busani (Mesa, Ariz.) hit his sixth home run of the year over the left field wall to bring in three runs.


The Aggies added four more runs in the bottom of the second off a Marcus Quade (Littleton, Colo.) double to center field, which was immediately followed by a three run bomb off Scaperotta’s bat.


It looked like NMSU would just dominate the entire game, but CSUP had a huge inning in the top of the third as they scored six times to cut the Aggie lead to 7-6.


The Aggie offense answered right back in the bottom of the third when designated hitter Leo Aguirre (Austin, Texas) hit a two RBI double to left field.  Four batters later, Hardt would come up big with a RBI single up the middle that scored Quade.


The Thunder Wolves scored two more runs in the top of the fourth, but NMSU put up three in the bottom of the inning that included an RBI walk from Hardt and two other unearned runs as two wild pitches were thrown in the inning to go along with a CSUP error.


Scaperotta blasted his second homer of the game in the bottom of the sixth to give NMSU a 14-8 lead, but the Thunder Wolves had a huge seventh inning when they scored five runs.


Going into the eighth, the score was 14-13 in favor of the home team.  The Aggies added to their lead in the bottom of the inning when they scored three runs off a huge Hardt double to left centerfield.


CSUP tried to make a comeback in the ninth, but closer Erik Nyquist (Fairfield, Calif.) allowed only two runs and struck out a batter to put the Thunder Wolves away.


NMSU will wrap up the two-game series with CSUP, Wednesday, April 2 at Presley Askew Field, while first-pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. (MDT).  The game will be shown on T.V. as a part of Aggie Vision.  Fans can watch the game on the following channels:  Altitude, Comcast 4 (Las Cruces), Comcast 53 (Albuquerque); Comcast 21 (Santa Fe), Comcast 66 (Gallup).


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