April 26, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Junior designated hitter Jeremy West hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils to a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Washington State Cougars Saturday night in Pac-10 Baseball action at Packard Stadium.
A night after blanking the Cougars 21-0, ASU earned the hard-fought victory to improve to 41-9 on the year and gained sole possession of second place in the conference at 9-5, one game back of leader Stanford (10-4). The Devils also clinched the series with the victory and improved to 2-2 in extra inning games this year. Washington State dropped to 13-28 on the year and 4-10 in Pac-10 play.
The Devils had the lead the most taking a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning after a near-dominating pitching performance from senior starter Jered Liebeck. Liebeck left after seven innings after scattering three hits and striking out five, but had his bid for his team-leading eighth win of the year spoiled with a two-run WSU ninth inning. Normally reliable closer Ryan Schroyer walked three in two innings and gave up a two-run, two-strike double to pinch-hitter Wes Falkenborg in the bottom of the ninth.
ASU had a chance to win the game in the ninth putting runners on first and second with no outs, but Tuffy Gosewisch flied out to deep left field and Dustin Pedroia grounded into ASU's fifth double play of the night to end the threat. WSU threatened in the top of the 10th putting the winning run in scoring position, but reliever Carlos Arguello struck out both batters he faced to keep the game tied and eventually picked up his second win of the year.
Washington State starter Garrett Alwert took the loss giving up two runs and three hits in three innings to fall to 1-3. Alwert also committed a two-out throwing error in the bottom of the 10th before giving up the first-pitch homer to West over the left field fence. Cougar starter Bryce Chamberlin was solid giving up three runs and seven hits in six and two-third innings to keep WSU in the game.
West finished the game 2-for-5 and homered in his fifth straight game against Washington State. The junior from Las Vegas earned Pac-10 Player of the Week last year when he homered in every game of the three-game series in Pullman. West also homered in Friday's series opener and added his 30th career home run with the two-run shot in the 10th. Washington native Travis Buck and Andre Ethier also registered two hits for ASU's only other players with multi-hit games.
The Devils jumped to the early lead scoring in the first inning for the 23rd time this year. Leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia singled and later scored on a single by first baseman Jeff Larish. ASU added to its lead with two more runs in the bottom of the third. Ethier plated a run with a one-out triple to the left field gap and scored the Devils third run on a ground out to third base by Larish.
Washington State scored its first run of the series with a two-out, pinch-hit home run from Bruce Jacobsen in the top of the seventh. The home run was Jacobsen's first of the year and was only WSU's third hit of the game at that point.
In addition to grounding into a season-high five double plays, the Devils also recorded a season high eight walks on the mound.
The two teams will complete the three-game Pac-10 series Sunday at 12 p.m. with WSU's Tony Banaszak (2-7, 4.41) facing off against ASU's senior right-hander Ben Thurmond (4-0, 2.68).
Game Notes: Former Sun Devil Hubie Brooks threw out the ceremonial first pitch... Brooks was an All-American infielder for the Devils in 1977-78 and went on to play 15 years in the major leagues... ASU extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 483 runs with the single tally in the first frame... Larish's first inning run-scoring single extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
Arizona State 5, Washington State 3 (Apr 26, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington State.... 000 000 102 0 - 3 5 1 (13-28, 4-10 PAC-10) Arizona State....... 102 000 000 2 - 5 10 2 (41-9, 9-5 PAC-10) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Washington State - Chamberlin; Alwert(7). Arizona State - Liebeck; Schroyer(8); Bordes(10); Arguello(10). Win-Arguello(2-0) Loss-Alwert(1-3) T-2:56 A-2487 HR WSU - Jacobsen (1); HR ASU - West (11).