May 15, 2002
MESA, Ariz. -- Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West was 4-for-6 with a grand slam home run and eight RBI as the 20th-ranked Arizona State baseball team defeated the University of Portland 16-7 Wednesday night in the Sun Devils final non-conference game of the year at Hohokam Stadium.
With the victory the Sun Devils finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 20-10 record. Winners of three of its last four, ASU improved to 30-18 overall with the win, sweeping the two-game midweek series from the Pilots by a combined score of 30-9. Portland dropped to 23-28 overall with the loss and face a crucial three-game conference series with Loyola Marymount at home this weekend. ASU returns to Pac-10 play Friday with a 6 p.m. game against conference leader USC. The Devils are right in the mix of things, one game out of second place behind Washington and Stanford and three games behind the league leading Trojans.
West's eight RBI are the second most in ASU single-game history and are the most since former Sun Devil Andrew Beinbrink had eight in a game vs. Boston College on March 20, 1999. In addition to his sixth-inning grand slam, the sophomore first baseman also had run scoring singles in the first and fifth innings and a two-run single in the second. He doubled his previous career high of four RBI and with the four hits now leads the Sun Devils with 22 multi-hit games in 2002. He also took over the team lead in batting with his 4-for-6 game, now hitting .364 on the year.
Freshman Jeff Larish was 2-for-3 with a career high four runs scored and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Also contributing solid performances in the 14-hit attack were two hits each from junior designated hitter Bryce Kartler and sophomore left fielder Rod Allen. Kartler, making his first career start at a position other than pitcher, also threw 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Reliever Jered Liebeck, who is scheduled to start Sunday's series finale vs. USC, picked up his first win of the year by throwing two scoreless innings. Sophomore closer Ryan Schroyer sealed the victory with a solid inning of work in the ninth inning.
Portland starting pitcher Jeff Cambers was saddled with the loss, being roughed up for seven runs on five hits in just two innings of work. Relievers Justin Ballweber (3.0, 5 H, 4 R) and Brule Speck (3.0, 4 H, 5 R) didn't fare much better in their six innings out of the bullpen.
The Devils evened the game with two runs in the home half of the first after Portland jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. After a two-out walk to Larish and a passed ball to move him to second, sophomore West plated him with a sharp single to left field for his first of eventual eight RBI on the night. Kartler recorded his first hit of the year with a double to the right field gap to tie the game at 2-2.
After spotting the Pilots a run in the top of the second, the Devils took the lead for good with five runs in the bottom of the second. ASU sent 10 batters to the plate and scored all five runs with two outs. West added another two-run single and both Allen and Kartler drove home runs with two-out singles.
Two more runs in each the third and fifth innings pushed ASU to an 11-5 lead and then really opened the flood gates with West's grand slam homer in the sixth. Surpassing their entire home run total from a year ago now with 32 round-trippers in 2002, the grand slam was the first of the year for ASU.
Portland leadoff hitter Trevor Hahn extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a single up the middle in the first inning and came around to score on a double down the left field line by right fielder Cory Casto. Shortstop Travis Hanson gave the Pilots the early 2-0 lead when he scored Casto on a single to center field. The Pilots also scored two runs each in the fifth and seventh innings. Shortstop Travis Hanson, first baseman Matt Hollod and reserve catcher Joe Watson all added multi-hit games in the losing effort.
Arizona State 16, Portland 7 (May 15, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Portland............ 210 020 200 - 7 12 1 (23-28) Arizona State....... 252 024 10X - 16 14 1 (30-18) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Portland - Cambers; Ballweber(3); Speck(6). Arizona State - Perrault; Liebeck(3); Jackson(5); Kartler(7); Schroyer(9). Win-Liebeck(1-1) Loss-Cambers(0-4) T-3:10 A-1487 HR ASU - West (12). Game notes: First career start for Garrabrants in CF... first start for Kartler at DH West's 8 RBI are second most in ASU single-game history. Larish extends hitting streak to 10 games with double in fifth.