Feb. 7, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Sophomore third baseman Frank Mesa was 4-for-6 with a two-run home run and three RBI to help lead the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils to a 17-6 victory over BYU Friday night in non-conference college baseball action at Packard Stadium.
The Sun Devils improved to 13-1 overall and after losing last Friday to No. 13 Long Beach State, have now won four straight. BYU fell to 1-4 in 2003 and are now 8-42 all-time vs. the Sun Devils.
Out-hitting the Cougars 18-9, the Devils had six players record two ore more hits. Mesa, who walked in the winning run in the ninth inning in Thursday's 6-5 victory, recorded his third multi-hit game as a Sun Devil and drilled his first career home run. Also providing a spark at the plate for the Devils were the three hits from freshman left fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) and multi-hit games from shortstop Dustin Pedroia, catcher Joel Bocchi and right fielder Andre Ethier. Pedroia recorded two more hits for his 10th multi-hit game of the year and continues to lead the team with 24 hits.
Senior RHP Ben Thurmond (Hopkins, S.C.) picked up his first as a Sun Devil with two perfect innings of relief. Thurmond, a senior transfer who was an All-American at Winthrop in 2001, struck out one and recorded only 21 pitches in his third outing of the year. Senior starter Jered Liebeck (Glendale) picked up the no-decision after giving up six runs in four innings. The reigning National and Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week scattered seven hits, but was the victim of three errors that led to three unearned runs.
BYU starter Michel Bergeron was saddled with the loss (0-1) giving up nine hits and eight runs in three and two-thirds innings. Only two of Bergeron's eight runs were earned. The Cougar bullpen corps of Jason Garcia and Jacob Chrisman was roughed up for nine runs on eight hits in three and a third innings. The four BYU pitchers combined to walk 12 batters in the game.
After spotting BYU four runs (three unearned) behind two costly errors by junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix), the Devil bats got aggressive with seven runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Devils sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, with Buck leading the way with two singles in the inning. Bocchi (Phoenix) provided the big blow with a bases loaded double to put the Devils in front 5-4. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) plated a run with an infield single and Buck capped the scoring with his second hit of the inning to stake the Devils to a 7-4 lead.
BYU climbed right back into the game by scoring two more runs for the third straight frame in the top of the fourth inning. Cougar center fielder Brock Jacobsen drilled a two-out, two-run home run to cut ASU's lead to 7-6. Continuing the wild game, the Devils pulled ahead by two off a solo home run from designated hitter Jeremy West in the bottom of the fourth.
The Sun Devils continued to with the power display with two more home runs in the fifth. Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish clubbed his team-leading sixth homer of the year to start the three-run fifth. Mesa followed suite by hitting a towering two-run blast to put ASU up 11-6. ASU added five more runs in the sixth to increase its lead to 16-6. Big hits in the inning included a two-run double by Ethier and a two-run single from West.
The Devils will go for their third series sweep this year with a 1 p.m. series finale at Packard Stadium. Freshman LHP Erik Averill (3-0, 0.00 ERA) will start for the Sun Devils against BYU's freshman lefty Ken Gravley (0-0, 7.71 ERA).
Game Notes: ASU left a season-high 15 batters on base in the victory... BYU players Rangers Wiens and Rob Itri were both ejected from the game in the sixth inning for arguing with umpires... ASU now has 20 home runs on the year which is already more than half way to the entire season total of 38 in 2002... with Mesa's two-run homer in the 5th, 11 different players have now hit home runs... ASU extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 447 games... the two home runs by Larish and Mesa in the fifth inning were the first home runs hit in the fifth inning this year... all four of West's home runs this year have been solo shots... the junior is ASU's active career leader with 23... after allowing only two home runs in the first 13 games, Liebeck surrendered two home runs Friday night... the Sun Devils used its 13th different batting lineup (14th game)... ASU has won nine straight games at Packard Stadium dating back to the end of the 2001 season and are now 138-43-1 at home (Hohokam Park included) since 1998.
Arizona State 17, BYU 6 (Feb 07, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- BYU................. 022 200 000 - 6 9 2 (1-4) Arizona State....... 007 135 10X - 17 18 3 (13-1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: BYU - BERGERON; GARCIA(4); CHRISMAN(6); BINGHAM(8). Arizona State - Liebeck; Thurmond(5); Leaf(7); Beatty(8); McClellan(9). Win-Thurmond(1-0) Loss-BERGERON(0-1) T-3:44 A-2896 HR BYU - JACOBSEN (2); ITRI (2). HR ASU - Larish (6); West (4); Mesa (1).
Around the Pac-10: at Arizona State 17, BYU 6 Arizona 7, Baylor 4 Pepperdine 1, Washington 0 California 5, Loyola Marymount 4 Pacific 4, Washington State 1 UC Riverside 9, Oregon State 6 Long Beach State 6, at USC 0 at Stanford 2, Florida State 1 (12 innings)