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Cassa's Pitching Gem Leads No. 7 Baseball To 7-0 Blanking Of Memphis
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/21/2004
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 21, 2004

Box Score

HOUSTON, Texas (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State freshman starting pitcher Pat Cassa struck out nine in six scoreless innings to life the No. 7 Sun Devils to a 7-0 victory over Memphis Saturday night in the second day of the Coca-Classic at Reckling Park.

Junior All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) led the offense going 3-for-4 with two RBI and freshman Colin Curtis (Issaquah, Wash.) and Joe Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) each hit solo home runs. Pedroia is hitting .525 (21-for-40) on the year with seven multi-hit games.

The Sun Devils improved to 7-2 on the year with the victory and 2-0 all-time against the Tigers. Memphis drops to 1-1 on the year after opening the season with a 6-2 victory over Cal State Northridge to open the tournament Friday.

Cassa (Cypress, Calif.) struck out a career-high nine batters and gave up only one hit in six innings to pick up the victory, evening his season record at 1-1. He did not give up a hit until the fifth inning and retired the first 11 batters he faced. Freshman southpaw Josh Blake (Overland Park, Kan.) completed the shutout with three scoreless innings to pick up his first save as a Sun Devil.

Memphis starting pitcher Derek Hankins took the loss in his collegiate debut. Hankins surrendered four runs and six hits in three and two-thirds innings.

The Devils got off to a quick start with a three-run first inning. Pedroia and right fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) led off with back-to-back singles to start the inning. Freshman designated hitter Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) plated a run with a groundout to put the Devils on the board. Curtis followed with a two-out, two-run home to right-center to stake the Devils to a 3-0 lead.

Pedroia plated ASU's fourth run with a two-out single to right field in fourth. Junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale, Ariz.) led off the frame with a double down the left field line.

The Devils extended their lead to 6-0 with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pedroia knocked home a run on a sharp single to center field. Persichina completed the scoring with a solo homer with one out in the seventh.

The Devils will close out their first trip to Texas since 1993 with a showdown with defending national champion Rice at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Junior right-hander Jason Urquidez (2-0, 0.82 ERA) is schedule to face Rice All-American Jeff Niemann. Niemann, the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Player of the Year, was 17-0 with a 1.70 ERA in 2002.

Game Notes: Dustin Pedroia singled in the first inning and has reached base to lead off a game for the seventh straight game (six hits, one walk)... he collected his 20th hit of the season in his third official at-bat and now has seven multi-hit games on the year... Colin Curtis blasted his second home run of the season in the first inning... two of ASU's three home runs have come in the first inning, including back-to-back games... ASU has now scored in the first inning in six of the nine games... Joe Persichina hit his first career home run... for the first time in 2004, ASU had two home runs in a game... all four of ASU's home runs have been solo shots.

Arizona State 7, Memphis 0 (Feb 21, 2004 at Houston, Texas)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Memphis............. 000 000 000  -  0  2  1      (1-1)
Arizona State....... 300 102 10X  -  7  9  0      (7-2)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitchers: Memphis - Hankins, D.; Cook, Z.(4); Kines, C.(6); Novarese, M.(8).
Arizona State - Cassa; Blake(7).
Win-Cassa(1-1)  Save-Blake(1)  Loss-Hankins, D.(0-1)  T-2:25  A-3405
HR ASU - Curtis (2); Persichina (1).
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