Jan. 18, 2003
KAILUA-KONA, Hawai'i (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Freshman left-handed pitcher Erik Averill scattered only one hit and did not allow an earned run in seven and a third innings in his ASU debut to help lead the No. 8 Sun Devil Baseball team to a convincing 18-3 win over Hawai'i-Hilo on Saturday afternoon at Simmons Field. The victory improved ASU to 4-0 on the season and will look for the six-game series sweep of the Vulcans with a doubleheader tomorrow morning starting at 10 a.m.
Averill, a freshman from Orange, Calif., struck out seven and had his bid for ASU's first no-hitter since 1993 erased with a double down the left field line in the bottom of the eighth inning by UHH freshman shortstop Kevin Drever. Freshman two-way player Ryan Bosch (Livermore, Calif.) came in to finish off the win.
"When pitching a gem like Erik Averill was today, the ability to make pitches throughout the course of a game is difficult," said ASU pitching coach Chris Sinacori, who has helped guide ASU's pitchers to a 1.91 ERA in the series. "But he continued to make great pitches and executed all game long and turned in a great performance for any player in college baseball, let a long a freshman at this level."
At the plate the Devils continued its offensive prowess by recording season highs with 18 runs and 19 hits. Every starter and four reserves collected at least one hit and six Devils recorded two hits each. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a sacrifice bunt in the leadoff spot. The 2002 Team USA member is now hitting .467 (7x15) with four doubles to start the season. In the four games this year, ASU is hitting .400 with 62 hits and 51 runs scored.
In addition to Pedroia's big game, Mike Guerrero (2x3, 2B, 3B), Frank Mesa (2x6), Rodney Allen (2x5), Tuffy Gosewisch (2x5) and Steve Garrabrants (2x4) each collected multi-hit games. Guerrero (Mesa, Ariz.) is 4-for-5 (.800) with two triples and a double in his first weekend of action as a Sun Devil.
ASU's big innings included a three-run first frame, a five-run fourth and a season-high eight-run eighth inning. The Devils blasted four home runs (tying the most they had in a single game last year), with sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.), junior designated hitter Jeremy West (Las Vegas, Nev.), junior right fielder Andre Ethier (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Bosch each hitting round-trippers. Bosch hit a grand slam home run for his first collegiate hit to cap the eight-run eighth.
ASU jumped out to the early lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. Pedroia led off the game with a double off the right field fenced and after a bunt single by freshman Travis Buck, junior right fielder Andre Ethier plated the first run with a groundout to second base. Larish then gave the Devils the early 3-0 lead with a two-run home run deep over the right field fence. The Sun Devils added to their lead with another two-out run in the second. Pedroia tabbed his second double of the game to drive home Garrabrants to put ASU up 4-0.
After a scoreless third inning, ASU unleashed for its biggest scoring inning of the year with five runs in the top of the fourth. Consecutive singles from Allen, Gosewisch and Garrabrants plated the first run of the inning. After a sacrifice fly to the right field fence by Buck, Ethier drilled his first home run of the year to put the Devils up 8-0. West followed with his second home run of the year for ASU's first back-to-back home runs since the end of the 2001 season.
With a 10-0 lead and Averill in cruise control, the Devils exploded for eight runs by sending 12 batters to the plate in the top of the eighth. After run-scoring hits from Gosewisch, Mesa and Garrabrants, Bosch blasted his first career home run over the left field fence to bring ASU's scoring to an end.
Game Notes: ASU extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 437 games with the three-run first inning... ASU has scored in the first inning in three of its four games this year... Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his leadoff double in the first inning... he leads the team with four doubles... Averill and Bosch became the fifth and sixth newcomer pitcher to make his Sun Devil debut this weekend... the back-to-back home runs from Ethier and West in the fourth inning marked the first time since April 17, 2001 (Rodney Allen and Jeff Phelps at New Mexico State) that ASU has hit home runs in consecutive at-bats... West's home run in the fourth inning was the 21st of his career... ASU now owns a 15-0 record all-time vs. UHH... Gosewisch is 4-for-7 in 2003 with the first two multi-hit games of his career... ASU scored nine (9) of their 18 runs with two outs.