April 20, 2002
MESA, Ariz. -- Arizona State reserve infielder Sergio Garcia led off the bottom of the10th inning with a single and then came around to score on a bases loaded wild pitch in a nail-biting 4-3 Sun Devil victory over California Saturday night at Hohokam Stadium.
The 14th-ranked Sun Devils improved to 25-14 overall and regained the second place spot in the Pac-10 with 9-5 record in league play. The victory also evened the three-game Pac-10 series at one game apiece after Cal won the opener 9-5 Friday night. ASU is now 5-1 in games after losing the opening game of a series this year and improved to 2-0 in extra inning contests.The Sun Devils have also now earned wins against the aces of for of the five Pac-10 teams they have faced this year. Cal falls to 25-19 overall and 7-7 in conference play. The Golden Bears are now 4-2 in extra inning games this year with the loss.
After making two good defensive plays at shortstop in the top of the inning, Garcia led off the 10th frame with a single that caromed off Cal third baseman David Nicholson for an infield single. A wild pitch from reliever Matt Payne advanced Garcia all the way to third base and two intentional walks loaded the bases. With five infielders looking to cut the winning run down at the plate, reliever Travis Talbott uncorked a wild pitch to score Garcia giving ASU the 4-3 win. Payne took the loss to fall to 3-1 on the year.
With the score deadlocked at 3-3, ASU had a golden opportunity to put the game away by loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth. Laboring through his 138th pitch, Hutchinson got ASU's leading hitter Andre Ethier to fly out to left field to push the game into extra innings. Cal also had its opportunities late in the inning to take the lead, but stranded the go-ahead run at third base in the top of the ninth.
ASU ace reliever Ryan Schroyer allowed the tying run to score in the eighth on a run-scoring double from designated hitter David Weiner, but was otherwise solid in his three-inning outing to pick up the win. Schroyer gave up two hits and one run to and struck out three to improve to 4-1 on the year. In 21.2 innings as a reliever, Schroyer is now 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 32 strikeouts. Middle reliever Carlos Arguello pitched three scoreless innings and redshirt freshman Mark Sopko stranded the bases loaded in the seventh with a solid inning of work.
California starter Trevor Hutchinson remained at 7-4 on the year while picking up the hard-fought no-decision. The senior right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out six in nine innings. Likely a high draft pick in the June Amateur Draft, the Pac-10 strikeout leader is now within four strikeouts of breaking the Cal career record.
California scored its first two runs by way of solo home runs from Nicholson and sophomore first baseman Conor Jackson. The duo also connected on home runs in Friday's series opener. ASU sophomore Jeremy West finished 2-for-2 with two RBI to lead the Sun Devils at the plate. ASU was out-hit by Cal 13-10, but played flawless defense to help secure the victory.
The Golden Bears and Sun Devils will meet in the rubber-match of the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hohokam Stadium. Sunday's pitching match-up will feature the Pac-10 leader in wins, ASU's Robbie McClellan (7-2, 4.10), and the reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week in Cal's Matt Brown (4-1, 3.16).
Game Notes: ASU head coach Pat Murphy coached in his 999th career game Saturday night and will coach No. 1,000 in Sunday's 1 p.m. game... subbing in for assistant coach Jay Sferra who was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning, sophomore Nick Walsh coached first base... Murphy also announced that starting center fielder Jon Sheaffer will be out two weeks with a foot injury and junior Dennis Wyrick will remain sidelined with a sore right hamstring... freshman left-handed pitcher Miguel Sanchez (Los Angeles) has been removed from the program for undisclosed reasons.