April 27, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Junior first baseman Jeremy West went 5-for-7 and tied a pair of ASU single game records with three home runs and nine RBI to lead the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils to a commanding 25-0 victory over the Washington State Cougars Sunday afternoon in Pac-10 Baseball action at Packard Stadium.
ASU improved to 42-9 on the season and climbed into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 with Stanford with a 10-5 league mark. The Devils inched into the top spot in the standings after Arizona defeated Stanford 11-6 in the rubber game of the series at Sunken Diamond. Washington State dropped to 13-29 overall and remained tied with Oregon State in last place in the Pac-10 at 4-11. The 51 runs scored in the three-game series are the fourth most by a Sun Devil squad in 25 years in Pac-10 play and the 25 runs scored are tied for the third most in a Pac-10 contest.
The Devils recorded season-highs with 25 runs and 24 hits in the win and etched another record in the season annals with the ninth most lopsided win in school history. ASU's sweep of Washington State included the Devils notching two pitching shutouts and the offense outscoring the Cougars 51-3 and out-hitting WSU 55-14. The three runs allowed surpassed the four runs allowed two weeks ago in a series sweep at California and is now tied for the least amount of runs given up in a three-game Pac-10 series dating back to ASU joining the league in 1979.
West, who hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning in ASU's 5-3 win on Saturday, recorded one of the most prolific offensive games in ASU history. He became only the eighth Sun Devil to hit three homers in a game and the first since Jim Austin hit three vs. Grand Canyon in 1991. His nine RBI tied the school record set by Tommy Adams in 1990 and earlier this year by teammate Jeff Larish (San Diego State; 1/26/03). The junior from Las Vegas, who made his first start in the field this year after 37 previous starts at designated hitter, hit a two-run homer in the first inning, a grand slam in the third and added his third blast with a three-run homer in the eighth. He also added singles in the second and seventh innings to record a career high in hits. In addition to his record-breaking performance Sunday, West put the finishing touches on a solid weekend going 9-for-16 (.562) in the series with five home runs and 13 RBI. He also has hit at least one home run in each of his last six games vs. Washington State. His five hits Sunday increased his season batting average to .361 (48-for-133) and is now hitting .472 (17-for-36) in 11 Pac-10 games. With his three home runs he now has 14 on the year (one behind teammate Jeff Larish for team lead) and is now only two off the ASU career top 10 with 33 home runs.
Not to be overshadowed by the offensive showcase from West was the six-hit game from junior designated hitter Nick Walsh. Walsh went 6-for-6 with five runs scored and tallied seven RBI for his finest day in a Sun Devil uniform. He recorded six different run-scoring hits and was one off the school record with three doubles. Since being inserted into the lineup during the Cal series, the Alamo, Calif., native has recorded a hit in eight straight games and is on a tear going 19-for-33 (.576) with 13 RBI and five doubles. His six hits and five runs scored were also one off the school record and he became the first Devil to have six hits in a game since Mark Ernster went 6-for-6 vs. BYU in 1999.
With West's grand slam in the third inning the Sun Devils now have 11 on the year to add to the school record and pull to within one of the NCAA record of 12 set by Oklahoma State in 1996.
While the offense showed it mettle that had them ranked third in the nation in batting average (.353) and fourth in scoring (10.37 runs per game), the pitching also maintained its top spot in the Pac-10 statistical standings. Led by senior starter Ben Thurmond (Hopkins, S.C.), six Sun Devils combined to limit the Cougars to only three hits and tallied ASU's eighth shutout of the year. Thurmond improved to 5-0 on the year giving up only one hit in four scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 2.48 and his Pac-10 mark to 1.42 (25.1 IP). Erik Averill, Mark Sopko, Bryce Kartler, Brett Bordes and Robbie McClellan all pitched an inning of scoreless relief to nail down the win.
In addition to West and Walsh, three other Sun Devils recorded multi-hit games. Leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) continued his All-America campaign going 3-for-5 with three runs scored to raise his batting average to.420 (92-for-219). Andre Ethier (Phoenix) hit his fifth home run of the year and went 2-for-6 with four RBI. Junior Rod Allen also added two hits in the win and sophomore Jeff Larish extended his career-long hitting streak to 12 games and recorded four walks to increase his Pac-10 lead in that department to 64.
The Devils opened the route scoring 10 runs in the first inning by sending 15 batters to the plate. With nine hits in the frame the Devils tied for the fourth most in a single-game in ASU history, leading to the departure of WSU starter Tony Banaszak (2-8). Ethier and West both homered in the inning as the top five hitters in the inning combined to hit for the cycle. After recording their second 10+ run inning of the series, ASU added six runs in the second, one run in each the third and sixth innings, two runs in the fifth and five runs in the eighth.
Arizona State will now take two weekends off from Pac-10 competition next playing a conference opponent when they travel to Oregon State May 12-14 for a three-game series in Corvallis. The Devils travel to Oklahoma City for a non-conference game vs. Oklahoma on Wednesday (7 p.m. CDT) at Bricktown Ballpark. ASU will also play UC Irvine on May 12 (7 p.m.) before taking to the road to face the Beavers.
Game Notes: * ASU records season highs in hits (24) and runs scored (25). * The win was ASU's ninth most lopsided in school history. * The 25 runs scored are tied for third most in a Pac-10 game (1979-2003). * The 51 runs scored in the three-game series are the fourth most in a Pac-10 series for ASU. * The three-runs allowed are tied for the least in a three-game Pac-10 series. * ASU extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 484 games. * West ties single-game ASU records with three home runs and nine RBI. * West also ties for second most total bases in a single game with 14 (3 HR, 2 1B). * West finished the WSU series with five home runs, 13 RBI and went 9-for-16 (.562) at the plate. * ASU now has eight shutouts this year after recording only six in the last three years combined. * Walsh goes 6-for-6 with five runs scored, seven RBI and three doubles. * Walsh's three doubles, six hits and five runs scored were each good for second best in ASU single-game history. * Walsh is in the midst of a current eight-game hitting streak going 19-for-33 (.576) with 13 RBI and five doubles. * Ben Thurmond improved to 5-0 on the season, lowering his season ERA to 2.48 and his Pac-10 ERA to 1.42. * ASU continues to lead the Pac-10 in hitting (.353) and pitching (3.29 ERA). * Dustin Pedroia notched his 31st multi-hit game of the year by going 3-for-5 to raise his season average to .420. * ASU has won eight of their last 10 games overall, including a current four-game win streak. * ASU added to its school record with its 11th grand slam, pulling to within one of the NCAA record of 12. * Jeff Larish had another RBI to increase his Pac-10 leading total to 79 and added four walks (64 in 2003). * 17 of ASU's 25 runs came with two outs.
Arizona State 25, Washington State 0 (Apr 27, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington State.... 0 00 000 000 - 0 3 2 (13-29, 4-11 PAC-10) Arizona State....... (10)61 021 05X - 25 24 1 (42-9, 10-5 PAC-10) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Washington State - Banaszak; Kenyon(1); Beetham(5); Freeman(8). Arizona State - Thurmond; Averill(5); Sopko(6); Kartler(7); Bordes(8); McClellan(9). Win-Thurmond(5-0) Loss-Banaszak(2-8) T-2:56 A-2057 HR ASU - Ethier (5); West 3 (14).