March 15, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The No. 1 Arizona State Sun Devils scored in each of the last five innings and recorded a season high seven doubles as they hit the half-way point in the 2003 season with a 10-3 victory over the No. 30 Oklahoma Sooners Saturday night in front of 3,806 at Packard Stadium.
The Sun Devils improved to 29-2 after having their 19-game winning streak snapped Friday night with a 6-5 series opening loss to the Sooners. The Sooners fell to 11-4 on the season and had their five-game win streak come to an end. Both teams will square off in the rubber match of the series in a rare 7 p.m. Sunday game at Packard Stadium.
After each of ASU's two losses this year, senior starting pitcher Jered Liebeck has responded by lifting the Devils to a victory. Improving to 6-0 on the season, Liebeck scattered nine hits in five and a third innings, striking out four and giving up two runs. The ASU bullpen was once again phenomenal lowering its season ERA to 3.68. Bryce Kartler (1.1 IP, 3 K's), Mark Sopko, Chris Beatty and Carlos Arguello combined to allow only one run and two hits in the final three and two thirds innings.
Oklahoma starter Buddy Blair was saddled with the loss giving up eight hits and five runs in five innings. The junior lefty struck out three and walked a career-high seven batters (three intentional). Reliever Austin Mix, who threw a complete game with over 100 pitches Tuesday vs. Southern Illinois, threw 71 more pitches in three innings out of the bullpen giving up five runs and two walks.
The Sun Devils were playing without player of the year candidate Jeff Larish, who is out with back spasms, but junior Mike Guerrero filled in nicely going 3-for-6 with three doubles and two RBI to raise his season batting average to .487 (19-for-39). Leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia recorded his 20th multi-hit game of the year by going 2-for-4 with two RBI and notched his 19th double of the year. Senior Dennis Wyrick, who has been ASU's starter at third base against left-handed pitchers, continued his tear at the plate going 2-for-6 with two RBI. Junior Rod Allen also continues to gain confidence with his first three-hit game of the season to raise his season batting average to .307 (23-for-75).
The Sooners took the first lead of the game with a single tally in the top of the third. Hot-hitting shortstop Eddie Cornejo hit a one-out triple down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Jay Yaconetti.
After leaving three runners in scoring position through the first three innings, ASU finally made good on putting runners on base with a four-run fourth inning. After a double by Travis Buck and walks to Ryan Bosch and Pedroia (intentional) to load the bases, Wyrick made the Sooners pay with a two-out, two-run single up the middle. Guerrero then drilled a double off the right field fence to give ASU a 4-1 advantage.
OU came right back with a run in the top of the fifth to cut ASU's lead to 4-2, but the Devils answered with runs in each the fifth and sixth inning to gain a 7-2 lead. Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch plated a run with sacrifice fly in the fifth and Allen brought home two more runs in the sixth with a single to left field. Yaconetti continued his hot hitting by blasting a solo home run in the top of the seventh.
After OU walked Jeremy West for the fourth time (third time intentionally), junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants delivered with a two-out single to right field to score Wyrick to extend ASU's lead to 8-3. Pedroia plated two more runs with a single through a drawn-in infield to bring the game to the final score of 10-3.
The Sun Devils (29-2) and Sooners (11-4) will conclude the series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. with ASU starting freshman lefty Erik Averill (5-0, 2.25 ERA) against OU's preseason All-American David Purcey (0-0, 4.41 ERA). The game was scheduled to air live on NBC 1190 AM, but preemptive programming has canceled the live broadcast. Works are in place for an internet only broadcast.
Arizona State 10, Oklahoma 3 (Mar 15, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Oklahoma............ 001 010 100 - 3 11 1 (11-4) Arizona State....... 000 412 12X - 10 15 0 (29-2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Oklahoma - Blair, B.; Mix, A.(6). Arizona State - Liebeck; Kartler(6); Sopko(7); Beatty(8); Arguello(9). Win-Liebeck(6-0) Loss-Blair, B.(2-2) T-3:22 A-3806 HR OKLA - Yaconetti, J (7).