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No. 5 Sun Devil Hit Three Home Runs In 9-4 Win Over Oregon State
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/16/2003
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 16, 2003

Box Score

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Shortstop Dustin Pedroia was 3-for-4 with a solo home run as the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball won its eighth straight game with a 9-4 victory over Oregon State in the final game of the inaugural Coca-Cola Spring Training College Baseball Classic at Surprise Stadium. The final of the six games drew 1,303 in the magnificent new spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals.

In addition to Pedroia's second home run of the year, second baseman Steve Garrabrants and Rod Allen also homered as the Sun Devils improved to 17-1 on the year, marking their best start to a season since also going 17-1 back in 1988. Oregon State had an impressive tournament beating Gonzaga and Oklahoma State, but couldn't handle the Sun Devils in falling to 3-3 on the season. The two teams will meet again this year for a three-game Pac-10 series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis (May 12-14).

After both teams exchanged runs, the Devils exploded for another big inning with four runs in the bottom of the third. Pedroia fueled the rally with a one-out double down the left field line and came into score on a single to right field by Andre Ethier. Garrabrants plated three of the runs with a towering home run that hit the left field foul pole.

Senior starting pitcher Jered Liebeck improved to 3-0 with a steady five-inning performance. The Glendale native scattered six hits and allowed three runs. Five ASU relievers combined to give up one run over the final four innings, with redshirt freshman Matt Leaf and senior lefty Carlos Arguello each throwing a scores inning.

Oregon State starter Stephen Copeland had a tough task at hand after Beaver pitching staff had allowed only one earned run in the 18 previous innings of the tournament. Copeland took the loss to fall to 0-1 after giving up three this and three runs in two and two-thirds innings. Sophomore transfer Jon Koller, who was a freshman All-American at UC Irvine last year, was rocked for six hits and six runs in two and a third innings. Closer Jared Sanders, OSU's all-time saves leader, cleaned up the messy Beaver pitching performance with a perfect eighth inning.

Pedroia finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and fell just a triple short of hitting for the elusive cycle. Out-hitting OSU 10-9, junior right fielder Andre Ethier was the only other Sun Devil to record two or more hits going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Pedroia, Garrabrants, Allen and Friday's winning pitcher Mark Sopko, were all named to the all-tournament team for their outstanding performances over the three games.

Arizona State (17-1) returns to action tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. game against Gonzaga at Packard Stadium. Freshman left-hander Erik Averill (3-0) will start on the mound against Gonzaga's Sean Lichter (Glendale, Ariz.). ASU beat Gonzaga 8-4 Friday night at Surprise Stadium.

Game Notes: ASU scored in the first inning to extend its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 451 games... Freshman center fielder Ryan Bosch made a diving catch with his back to home plate in the top of the third inning... freshman Travis Buck did not start for the first time this year due to a bruised heel he suffered in Saturday's 7-3 win over Oklahoma State... Garrabrants' three-run homer in the third was his third of the year and fifth of his career... ASU has now recorded at least one home run in 13 of its 18 games this year and has 24 overall for the season... Pedroia has at least one hit in 17 of ASU's games this year and is hitting .395 overall with nine doubles, one triple and one home run... ASU played all three of its games at Surprise Stadium under three hours.

Arizona State 9, Oregon State 4 (Feb 16, 2003 at Surprise, Ariz.)
Oregon State........ 001 101 100  -  4  9  1      (3-3)
Arizona State....... 104 040 00X  -  9 10  0      (17-1)
Pitchers: Oregon State - Copeland; Koller(3); Baldwin(6); Sanders(8).
Arizona State - Liebeck; Kartler(6); Lopez, J.(6); McClellan(7); Leaf(8);
Win-Liebeck(3-0)  Loss-Copeland(0-1)  T-2:58  A-1303
HR ASU - Pedroia (2); Garrabrants (3); Allen (2).
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