Feb. 6, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Sophomore third baseman Frank Mesa drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils a 6-5 win over the BYU Cougars in front of 2,850 fans on a frigid Thursday night at Packard Stadium.
Despite letting a 5-1 lead slip away, the win improved the Devils to 12-1 on the year, marking the first 12-1 start to a season during the Pat Murphy era (1995-P). The Cougars, coached by former major leaguer Vance Law, fell to 1-3 on the young season. ASU now leads the all-time series 41-8 and has won 14 straight dating back to 1993.
Junior RHP Ryan Schroyer (Casa Grande, Ariz.) needed only one pitch to pick up his second win of the year as he retired the only batter he faced with two men on in the ninth. Mark Sopko (Joliet, Ill.) had another solid outing by giving up only one run and four hits in four-plus innings of work. Junior Javy Lopez (El Paso, Texas) and senior Beau Vaughan (Glendale) each had solid outings in relief.
BYU starter and Tempe native Jeff Mousser gave up five runs (three earned) in five and two-thirds innings. The Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after beating Arizona last Thursday got the no decision after the Cougars tied the game in the eighth. He struck out three and walked one in his 98-pitch effort. Reliever Paul Jacinto was credited with the loss by giving up one run on three hits in two and a third innings. BYU closer Tyler Dabo walked both batters he faced to bring home the winning run.
Offensively sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe) continued to pace the Sun Devils with three hits and scored the game-winning run. He had two doubles to give him five on the year and his one RBI pushed him to 25 on the year. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) tabbed his ninth multi-hit game of the year with a 2-for-4 performance. Freshman Ryan Bosch (Livermore, Calif.) also tabbed his first career multi-hit game with two hits in the victory.
The Sun Devils struck in their first at-bat with the first career home run from freshman left fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.). ASU utilized the longball again in the second with a two-out, two-run blast from junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix) to take a 3-0 lead.
Despite putting a runner on third base in each of the first two innings, BYU was not able to put a run on the board. The Cougars finally solved Sopko in the top of the fifth when second baseman Rob Itri hit a leadoff home run. The homer ended ASU's streak of 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings from the starting pitchers and was only the second home run surrendered by Sun Devil pitchers.
ASU added to its lead with tow more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Garrabrants scored on a fielders choice and BYU throwing error for the first run of the inning and then sophomore Larish doubled in Buck to increase ASU's lead to 5-1.
The Cougars climbed back into the game by putting a single tally up on the board in each the sixth and seventh innings. Brock Jacobsen plated a run on a groundout in the sixth and Doug Jackson was credited with a sacrifice fly in the seventh to bring the game to 5-3. Both runs came off senior reliever Robbie McClellan (Liberal, Kan.).
A two-out throwing error by Garrabrants opened the door for BYU to tie the game in the top of the eighth. After a run scored on the throwing error, catcher Adam Wilkes plated the tying run on a sharp single to center field. Vaughan picked off Tim Law on third base to end the inning and any hopes of the Cougars taking their first lead of the game.
ASU squandered a golden opportunity in the bottom half of the eighth when they loaded the bases but could not push a run home. A leadoff error and two walks loaded the bases before Buck hit a soft liner to third base to end the inning.
Arizona State and BYU will continue with game two of the schedule three-game set Friday night at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. ASU senior RHP Jered Liebeck (2-0, 1.35 ERA), the reigning National Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game three-hit shutout against No. 13 Long Beach State, will start for the Sun Devils against BYU's Michel Bergeron (0-0, 7.71 ERA).
Game Notes: Arizona State head football coach Dirk Koetter threw out the ceremonial first pitch... a moment of silence was recognized for during pregame ceremonies for longtime ASU Baseball supporters Suzi Rosenberg and Dave Graybill Sr... a moment of silence was also recognized for the space shuttle Columbia... continuing the tradition of a player taking out the starting lineup to home plate, sophomore catcher Garrett Schoenberger had the honors Thursday night... the first-inning home run by Travis Buck marked the 10th Sun Devil to hit a home run this year... the second-inning two-run homer by Steve Garrabrants was ASU's first in the second frame and the fourth of his career... former Sun Devils in attendance at the game included Mikel Moreno (1995-98), Mitch Jones (1999-2000), Brooks Conrad (1999-2001), Chip Gosewisch (1996-99), Mel Stocker (2000-01), Mike Esposito (2000-02) and Ty Johnson (1997-2001)... Moreno is in his first year as an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans.
Arizona State 6, BYU 5 (Feb 06, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- BYU................. 000 011 120 - 5 9 3 (1-3) Arizona State....... 120 020 001 - 6 10 1 (12-1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: BYU - MOUSSER; JACINTO(6); DABO(9). Arizona State - Sopko; Lopez, J.(5); McClellan(6); Vaughan(7); Schroyer(9). Win-Schroyer(2-0) Loss-JACINTO(0-1) T-3:24 A-2850 HR BYU - ITRI (1). HR ASU - Buck (1); Garrabrants (2).