March 6, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State right fielder Travis Buck hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that proved to be the game winner as the No. 6 Sun Devils won their eighth straight in a 6-4 victory over No. 18 East Carolina on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Packard Stadium.
Buck (Richland, Wash.) homered for the third straight game to extend his hitting streak to five games. The sophomore is in the midst of a torrid streak in which he is 14-for-19 (.737) over the last five games.
ASU won its eighth straight overall and 18th straight at Packard Stadium while improving to 14-2 on the season. The victory over the No. 18 Pirates also improved ASU's record against ranked opponents to a perfect 7-0. ECU (12-2) dropped its second straight after opening the season with 12 straight wins.
ASU starting pitcher Jason Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) picked up the win with seven solid innings to improve to 5-0 on the year. The junior right-hander scattered five hits and four runs (three earned) in seven innings. He struck out four and walked three to remain perfect in a Sun Devil uniform.
Freshman relief pitcher Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) pitched two scoreless innings to record his second save of the series and his third of the year. The hard-throwing right-hander is 3-0 with three saves and a 1.69 ERA and has two wins and three saves in his last five outings (15.0 IP, 7 H, 0.00 ERA, 20 K).
ECU reliever Carter Harrell gave up two hits and one run on Buck's solo home run to record the loss. The former North Carolina Tar Heel fell to 2-1 with the loss. Starter Greg Bunn gave up four runs and three hits in four innings to record the no-decision.
ASU out-hit the Pirates 7-6, with freshman first baseman Joe Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) leading the way going 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Junior All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) belted his third home run of the season to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Devils jumped out to the early lead on a two-out double down the right field by senior second baseman Nick Walsh (Alamo, Calif.) in the second inning.
ECU answered with a run in the third on a run-scoring groundout by leadoff hitter Jamie Paige. ASU regained the lead on a solo home run from Pedroia to lead off the third, but ECU continued the see-saw contest with a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Junior first baseman Ryan Norwood hit a two-run home run to give the Pirates the early advantage.
The Pirates tied the game at 4-4 on a solo home run in the sixth inning from second baseman Trevor Lawhorn. Buck's solo home run over the right field fence off Harrell put ASU ahead for good and sealed the series win. Junior third baseman Frank Mesa (Yuma) added an insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the eighth.
The Devils and Pirates will conclude the three-game non-conference series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. ASU will send freshman Zechry Zinicola (1-1, 5.41 ERA) to the mound for his first career start against ECU freshman right-hander Ricky Brooks (1-0, 2.57 ERA).
Game Notes: Former Sun Devil Andre Ethier (2002-03) threw out the ceremonial first pitch... Ethier is a current top prospect in the Oakland A's farm system and was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection... Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his third-inning home run... the junior now has hits in 15 of ASU's 16 games and has eight career home runs... Buck hit a home run for the third time in as many games and leads the team with four on the year... Urquidez improved to a perfect 5-0 with his outing... ASU's starters have gone five or more innings in 11 of 16 games this year... freshman first baseman Joe Persichina tabbed his third multi-hit game of the year and scored two runs... junior left fielder Jeff Larish extended his hitting streak to seven games with his seventh double of the year.
Arizona State 6, East Carolina 4 (Mar 06, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- East Carolina....... 001 201 000 - 4 6 3 (12-2) Arizona State....... 011 110 11X - 6 7 1 (14-2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: East Carolina - Bunn; Andrews(5); Harrell(6); Connelly(7); Rhodes(8). Arizona State - Urquidez; Bresnehan(8). Win-Urquidez(5-0) Save-Bresnehan(3) Loss-Harrell(2-1) T-2:54 A-2567 HR ECU - Lawhorn, T. (6); Norwood (4). HR ASU - Pedroia (3); Buck (4).