April 7, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Arizona State sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier was 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI to highlight a season-high 22-run and 21-hit offensive explosion as the 14th-ranked Sun Devils defeated the Washington State Cougars 22-4 Sunday afternoon in Pac-10 baseball action at Bailey-Brayton Field.
ASU's most convincing victory of the year ensured a seventh consecutive Pac-10 series victory for the Sun Devils, dating back to the Washington State series last year in Tempe. For the second consecutive weekend, the Devils staved off a series opening loss to come back and gain the series victory. ASU lost 7-4 in the opener to the Cougars, but bounced back with a 13-7 win Saturday and Sunday's 22-4 win.
The Devils are now 22-12 overall and are off to a very impressive 6-3 start in Pac-10 play. Washington State falls to 13-18 overall and 1-5 in conference action. ASU now leads the all-time series with the Cougars 23-5, including an all-time 5-1 record in Pullman.
"We set the tone in the middle half of the game and just kept swinging the bats with confidence," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. "This is an extremely young team that came out here and showed some real character by bouncing back from a tough loss Friday. We did some good things out there against a team that can put some runs up on the board."
Ethier, who entered the game with only two home runs on the season, doubled his total with a pair of round-trippers vs. the Cougars Sunday. The Phoenix, Ariz., native became the first Sun Devil this year to hit two home runs in the game and added to ASU's season high four homer game. He hit a towering two-run home run as part of a three-run third inning and then added a three-run round-tripper in the five-run eighth.
Starting pitcher Robbie McClellan ended his streak of three consecutive no-decisions to record the victory to improve to 6-2 on the year. McClellan scattered nine hits and allowed four runs in seven innings of work. The junior from Liberal, Kansas, struck out eight and walked three. Junior left-hander Carlos Arguello sealed the win with two shutout innings.
Washington State starting pitcher Garrett Alwert was saddled with the loss to even his 2002 record at 2-2. Alwert allowed nine runs and eight hits while walking five in four and two-thirds innings. The Cougar bullpen of Jamin Svendsen, Nick Kenyon, James Freeman and Bryce Chamberlin combined to give up 13 hits and 13 runs over the final 4.1 innings.
Also adding to the offensive explosion was another solid game from sophomore first baseman Jeremy West. West was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI in Sunday's series finale, including hitting his third home run in as many games. The Las Vegas native now has a team-leading 11 home runs on the year and finished the series hitting .429 (6x14) with a pair of doubles, three home runs and seven RBI.
With every starter recording at least one hit, the bottom of the Sun Devil lineup provided the spark for the series-clinching victory. ASU's six through nine hitters (Ryan McKenna, Jon Sheaffer, Dustin Pedroia, Cesar Castillo) all notched multi-hit games to pace the offense. Pedroia was 3-for-5 with a two-run double, Sheaffer continued his hot hitting by matching a career-high with three hits and Castillo was 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
"Cesar Castillo has really helped solidify the catcher spot in our lineup and has given this team some real quality at-bats as of late," added Murphy on the former walk-on from Yuma, Ariz. "Jon Sheaffer also had an absolutely amazing game out there and did a lot of great things that don't show up in the box score. The bottom of our order really came out and made a statement today."
Making his second career start, freshman designated hitter Nick Cadena drilled his first career home run with a three-run shot over the center field fence. Cadena, who played at Apollo High School in Glendale, Ariz., broke Bob Horner's and Paul Lo Duca's Arizona State High School Home Run Records during his stellar prep career.
For the first time in the series the Cougars jumped out to an early lead with a solo home run from Jeff LaRue in the second inning. The lead would be short-lived with the Sun Devils jumping on Alwert for three runs in the top of the third. Back-to-back doubles from catcher Cesar Castillo and second baseman Steve Garrabrants tied the game at 1-1. Sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier then belted a towering two-run home run for his third round-tripper of the year to give ASU a 3-1 lead.
The Devils plated another run in the top of the fourth and then extended its lead to 9-1 with five runs in the fifth. McKenna and Pedroia fueled the five-run inning with a pair of two-run doubles. Castillo capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field.
WSU temporarily jumped right back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth off McClellan. LaRue nearly hit his second opposite field home run of the game, but ended with a run-scoring double off the right field fence to bring the Cougs to within five runs at 9-4.
With the Cougars inching closer, the Sun Devils broke the game open with eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings. West drilled his third home run of the series in the six-run seventh and Ethier hit his second home run of the game as part of a five run eighth.
The Sun Devils will continue conclude their seven-game road trip next weekend with a three-game Pac-10 series against UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles.
Game Notes: With the three runs in the top of the third the ASU baseball program extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 409 games... Sunday marked the seventh anniversary of the last time a Sun Devil squad was shutout, last being April 7, 1995 in a 9-0 loss vs. USC at Dedeaux Field... Starting an 18th consecutive different lineup that did not feature a player who has played a full season in Pac-10 play, the Devils notched season highs with the 21 hits, 22 runs and four home runs.... Nick Cadena notched his first career home run... Cesar Castillo sets career highs with three hits and three runs scored... Jon Sheaffer matches career high with three hits... Andre Ethier becomes first Sun Devil this year with a multi-home run game... ASU's 21 hits is a season high... the 22 runs is the most since also scoring 22 last year vs. Creighton (Feb. 16, 2001 @ Packard Stadium).
Arizona State 22, Washington State 4 (Apr 07, 2002 at Pullman, Wash.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona State....... 003 152 650 - 22 21 0 (22-12, 6-3 PAC-10) Washington State.... 010 030 000 - 4 12 2 (13-18, 1-5 PAC-10) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Arizona State - McClellan, Arguello(8). Washington State - Alwert, Svendsen(5), Kenyon(7), Freeman(8), Chamberlin(9). Win-McClellan(6-2) Loss-Alwert(2-2) T-3:05 A-478 HR ASU - Ethier 2 (4), West (11), Cadena (1). HR WSU - LaRue (4).