Feb. 28, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State's Dustin Pedroia hit a grand slam home run and Travis Buck tied a school record with four doubles to lead the No. 7 Sun Devils to a decisive 16-5 victory over the University of Connecticut Saturday afternoon at Packard Stadium.
Earning the series win with their fifth straight victory, the Sun Devils improve to 11-2 overall and have won 15 straight games at Packard dating back to the end of the 2003 season. UConn falls to 0-2 on the season.
Buck (Richland, Wash.) hit doubles in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings to tie the single-game school record held by three other Sun Devils. The sophomore right fielder finished 4-for-5 with four RBI and is now hitting .349 (15-for-43) with seven doubles and 15 RBI.
The Sun Devils offense had another solid day, recording 17 hits and 16 runs. Tabbing a season-high nine extra base hits, ASU also received multi-hit games from junior Jeff Larish (2-for-4), freshman Zechry Zinicola (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI), freshman Colin Curtis (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and junior Tuffy Gosewisch (3-for-4, 2B). Curtis hit his team-leading fourth home run with his second opposite field homer in as many games and extended his hitting streak to a team-high eight games.
ASU freshman reliever Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) picked up the win with four scoreless innings to improve to 3-0 on the year. Bresnehan walked four and struck five in his team-high sixth appearance. Freshman starter Pat Cassa (Cypress, Calif.) was the victim of three unearned runs, but pitched well in his third start of the year. Cassa struck out four and allowed one earned run in four innings. Sophomore Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
UConn starter Mike James took the loss giving up nine runs on 10 hits in four and a third innings. Making his first career start, the senior right-hander is the Huskies all-time saves leader with 22 and is coming off a solid junior season with 11 saves and a 2.93 ERA in 24 appearances.
After jumping to a 5-0 lead after three inning, UConn got on the board with a run in the fourth and then tied the game with a four-run fifth frame. A costly catcher's interference call erased what would have been an inning-ending double play, and a three-run double by first baseman Marc Peluso tied the game.
ASU bounced right back in its half of the fifth, using a pair of home run to take a 11-5 lead. After a double from Gosewisch and a single from third baseman Seth Dhaenens, Pedroia unloaded on an 1-0 pitch for his second homer of the year and ASU's first grand slam. Zinicola followed with a two-out, two-run homer to extend the ASU lead to 11-5.
Buck added to the lead in the sixth with his school-record tying fourth double of the game. After intentionally walking Pedroia to load the bases, Buck followed with a shot off the center field fence to plate three runs.
Peluso led UConn with a perfect 3-for-3 afternoon with three RBI. Leadoff hitter Russ D'Argento went 1-for-4 and right fielder Bryan Maler went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.
The Sun Devils and Huskies complete the three-game non-conference series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Reigning Pac-10 and National Pitcher of the Week Jason Urquidez (3-0, 0.90 ERA) will start for the Sun Devils against UConn's Nick Tucci.
Game Notes: ASU has scored in double-digits in seven of 13 games this year... Colin Curtis and Dustin Pedroia extended their season-high hitting streak to eight and seven games respectively... Pedroia has at least one hit in 12 of ASU's 13 games... Buck's four doubles tied a school record with Mike Devereaux (Jan. 31, 1985 vs. UCSB), Gary Atwell (Apr. 23, 1971 vs. UTEP) and Jeff Larish (May 25, 2003 vs. Arizona)... ASU's three home runs are a season high... Curtis leads the team with four homers... Bresnehan's wild pitch was only ASU's second of the year... ASU has turned three double plays in each of the last two games... allowing only one earned run, ASU's pitching staff has allowed only eight earned runs in the last five games (45.0 IP) for a 0.80 ERA... Pedroia's grand slam was ASU's first of the year after setting and NCAA record with 14 last year.
Arizona State 16, Connecticut 5 (Feb 28, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Connecticut......... 000 140 000 - 5 7 0 (0-2) Arizona State....... 005 063 02X - 16 17 1 (11-2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Connecticut - James; Norton(5); Garry(6). Arizona State - Cassa; Bresnehan(5); Averill(9). Win-Bresnehan(3-0) Loss-James(0-1) T-3:14 A-2385 HR ASU - Pedroia (2); Zinicola (1); Curtis (4).