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Jan. 24, 1998

No. 5 Arizona State Pummels Florida International 21-3 In Louisville Slugger Classic

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The fifth-ranked Arizona State baseball team (3-0, 0-0) enacted the new collegiate baseball mercy rule as they defeated Florida International (1-3, 0-0) 21-3 in front of 1,109 fans in the Louisville Slugger Classic at Packard Stadium tonight.

The Sun Devils were only up by two runs in the fourth when the Devils exploded for 13 runs. Senior Mikel Moreno led the inning off with a home run, stamping an exclamation point on his 2-for-3, four RBI evening. The hit parade then continued as freshman Casey Myers doubled with one out, to score two. Myers ended the night 3-for-4 with four runs scored and two driven in. Sophomore Willie Bloomquist also had an extremely good evening for the Sun Devils in left and center field, going 2-for-4 with three driven in and three runs scored. The Devils only went into the top of the seventh because of the newly instilled mercy rule, so starting pitcher Jay Gehrke picked up the win for the Devils. Gehrke went four innings, gave up four hits, and only allowed one earned run. Head coach Pat Murphy was very pleased with the sophomore pitcher's outing.

" It is tough for a pitcher to sit for over 40 minutes in the dugout. He got cold, but he did really well and he'll improve," Murphy said.

Florida International really had no stars tonight. Third baseman Jeff Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with an RBI. But despite the lopsided victory, ASU head coach Pat Murphy says not to count this team out.

" To me, FIU is one of the best teams in Florida, so our guys will feel really good about this win come the end of the season," Murphy added.

The Sun Devils next head out to Hawaii to take on the University of Hawaii-Hilo in a four game series starting Thursday, January 29 at 6 p.m. MST. Three of the four games, minus the second game of the double-header on Sunday, can be heard on KMVP.

    
Florida International   001     002   03      7      4
Arizona State           012(13) 50x   21     12      1
Winner --Gehrke (1-0)   Loser --Franco (0-1)       Save --none
Umpires: Bailey, Daugherty, Burleson           Time: 2:50   Attn: 1,109
Earlier Results from the Louisville Slugger Classic (Tempe, Ariz.):
Cal Poly SLO            011  101  204           10      12     4
New Mexico State        101  130  53x           14      15     1

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