May 24, 2002
MESA, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier was 2-for-3 with three RBI, driving in the tying and game-winning runs, as the 17th-ranked Sun Devils earned a very important 13-7 series-opening win over the Oregon State Beavers Friday night in Pac-10 baseball action at Hohokam Park.
Ethier, who made his return to the lineup after sitting out nearly a month after breaking his right thumb vs. Notre Dame (4/26), tied the game with a two-run single in the fourth and put the Devils ahead for good with a single in the sixth to for ASU's eighth run of the game.
The Sun Devils won their sixth game out of the last eight to improve to 33-19 overall and at 13-9 remain one game back of second place (Washington and Stanford) and two games back of Pac-10 leading USC after all four of the top teams in the league won Friday night. Oregon State dropped its sixth out of the last seven to fall to 31-21 overall and remain a long shot for the NCAA Tournament with a 10-12 record in league play.
ASU starter Jered Liebeck had a rough start after shutting down USC last Friday, giving up four runs and four hits in just two innings. The bullpen stepped up with the ineffective start, allowing only one earned run in seven innings. Junior Bryce Kartler picked up his first win since Mar. 3 (Loyola Marymount) to improve to 3-4 with two scoreless innings. Junior lefty Carlos Arguello saw his ERA drop to 1.88 with two more shutout innings and has now given up only one run in his last 11.0 innings. Sophomore closer Ryan Schroyer sealed the win with a perfect ninth inning.
Oregon State starter Ben Rowe also suffered a rough start, but walked away with the no-decision after allowing five hits and four runs in just one inning of work. Ace reliever Ty Kline picked up his first loss of the year to fall to 6-1 by giving up five hits and five runs in four innings.
Building off their eight-run first inning in last Sunday's 17-8 win over USC, the Devils came out of the gates hot again with four runs. Sophomore Steve Garrabrants led off the game with a triple to center field and scored when freshman Dustin Pedroia singled to left field. Left fielder Rod Allen plated a run with a two-out double and freshman designated hitter Nick Cadena capped the scoring with a two-run single up the middle.
Not to be outdone, the Beavers battled right back with four runs in the top of the second to tied the game at 4-4. A pair of leadoff singles from Andy Jarvis and Seth Pietsch preceded a three-run home run to right field from junior catcher Wick Udy. Freshman center fielder Aaron Mathews brought home the tying run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Oregon State continued its momentum in its next at-bat by scoring three runs off reliever Mark Sopko. Only the third fielding error this year by Pedroia helped keep the rally alive, turning a would-be double-play ball into a first and second situation with one out. Designated hitter Jason McBride brought home two runs with a single to right field and second baseman Tom Creighton added the third run of the inning with a two-out single.
After a run in the third on a single by Cadena, the Devils tied the game at 7-7 with two runs in the home half of the fourth. The Beavers gambled by intentionally walking the bases loaded, but were burned when Ethier singled up the middle to bring home two runs.
ASU had a chance to move ahead in the fifth with runners on first and second with no outs, but Garrabrants bounced into a double play and Pedroia grounded out to second base to end the threat. The Devils broke the 7-7 tie with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ethier broke the tie with a single to center field and after a run-scoring fielder's choice from Rod Allen, Cadena added another run-scoring single for his fourth RBI of the game. ASU added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to bring the game to the final score of 13-7.
Pedroia led the Devils 15-hit attack, notching his 23rd multi-hit game of the year with a 3-for-6 performance. The freshman, who was selected to participate in the Team USA National trials earlier this week, is now hitting .392 (38x97) in Pac-10 play. Cadena tied a career high with his three hits and is now 15-for-41 (.369) with 19 RBI and five home runs in last 10 games (all starts). He was hitting just .097 before that stretch with almost all his action as a pinch-hitter. Jeremy West extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single and Garrabrants recorded his 23rd multi-hit contest this year with a pair of hits. He now leads the Pac-10 outright with his seven triples as well.
Arizona State and Oregon State will continue the regular season ending three-game series tomorrow with a 6 p.m. game at Hohokam Park. Junior right-hander Robbie McClellan (7-5, 4.22 ERA) will start for the Sun Devils against Oregon State right-hander Stephen Copeland (5-3, 5.50 ERA). Sunday's finale is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: With four first-inning runs ASU has now scored 12 runs in the last two games in the first frame... overall the Devils have scored in the first inning in 29 of their 52 games (56%)... ASU is now 23-6 when scoring in the first inning... the four runs in the first inning ASU extended its NCAA consecutive games scoring streak to 427 games... Andre Ethier made his first start in nearly a month after enduring a broken right thumb while diving for a ball in the Notre Dame game (4/26)... Pedroia's fielding error in the third inning was only his third error of the season and first in Pac-10 play this year.
Arizona State 13, Oregon State 7 (May 24, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon State........ 043 000 000 - 7 9 3 (31-21, 10-12 PAC-10) Arizona State....... 401 204 02X - 13 15 1 (33-19, 13-9 PAC-10) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Oregon State - Rowe; Kline(2); Ekstrom(6); Postlewait(6); Garcia(8). Arizona State - Liebeck; Sopko(3); Kartler(5); Arguello(7); Schroyer(9). Win-Kartler(3-4) Loss-Kline(6-1) T-3:57 A-2132 HR OSU - Udy (3).