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No. 5 Baseball Drops Pac-10 Opener To California 9-7
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/19/2004
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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March 19, 2004

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The California Golden Bears scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to erase a 7-3 deficit and held on to defeat the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils 9-7 in the Pac-10 opener for both teams Friday night at Packard Stadium.

The Devils had their four-game win streak snapped with the loss to fall to 19-4 overall on the season. California improved to 13-14 with the victory and 1-0 in league action. ASU is now 6-4 in Pac-10 openers since 1995 and 14-12 since joining the Pac-10 in 1979.

California got a solid performance out of its bullpen to secure the victory. Sophomore lefty Cameron Johnson picked up the victory with one and a third scoreless innings and senior right-hander Matt Brown recorded his first save of the year. Senior Matt Brown sealed the win with his first save of the season. ASU roughed up Cal ace Adam Gold for seven runs and six hits in four and two-third innings.

ASU freshman reliever Quentin Andes (Albuquerque, N.M.) was saddled with the loss after giving up the eventual game-winning run in his inning and a third appearance. Sophomore Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) was roughed up for five runs on five hits in two and two-thirds innings. Senior starter Jeff Mousser (Tempe) had his least effective start of the year, giving up four hits and two runs in three innings.

Junior All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) was 4-for-5 with two runs scored in the loss. He recorded his 13th multi-hit game and 14th double of the season while raising his batting average to .463. Freshman designated hitter Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) added two hits and a run-scoring double for the Devils.

California trailed 7-3 after five innings, but battled back with a big five-run sixth inning. Sending 10 batters to the plate in the inning, Allen Craig, David Weiner and Grossman all drove in runs with singles to put the Bears in the lead.

The Golden Bears jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after back-to-back singles form Allen Craig and David Nicholson to lead off the game. Cleanup hitter Chris Grossman drove home a run on a sacrifice fly to center field to stake the Bears to a 1-0 lead.

ASU answered with three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead. Pedroia and Buck led off with consecutive singles and Larish drove home the first run with a double to the right field fence. Freshman designated hitter Zechry Zinicola reached on an error that allowed two more runs to cross the plate.

The Devils added a run in the second on a two-out double by Zinicola, but Cal kept it close with single tallies in each the second and fourth innings. A two-run single by Tuffy Gosewisch and a two-out single by Pedroia in the fifth extended the lead to 7-3. Again, the pesky Golden Bears battled back with five runs in the top of the sixth to take a 8-7 lead.

The Devils had a chance to push the equalizer across the plate by loading the bases in the seventh, but Ingram got Larish to strike out on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat. Cal then added an important insurance run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Nicholson.

The Golden Bears were led by the top of their lineup combining for four multi-hit games. Craig, Nicholson, Weiner and Grossman each had two hits in the victory. Senior shortstop Jeff Dragicevich was also 2-for-3 with two RBI.

The Devils and Golden Bears continue the Pac-10 opening series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. The Devils will send ace right-hander Jason Urquidez (6-0, 1.77 ERA) to the hill against Cal's Mike Padgett (1-3, 3.89 ERA).

Game Notes: ASU scored in the first inning for the 14 time in 23 games this season... Pedroia and Buck have now led off with back-to-back hits in six games this season... former Sun Devil All-American catcher Casey Myers threw out the ceremonial first pitch... Myers was the two-time Academic All-American of the Year and the 2000 and 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year... he is currently a minor leaguer with the Oakland Athletics... Erik Averill was called for two balks, a season high for any ASU pitcher... Pedroia tied a season and career high with four hits and now has 246 in his career to climb to within one of Barry Bonds (247) for 10th in school history... Larish hit his 11th double of the season... Pedroia and redshirt freshman Seth Dhaenens each extended their hitting streak to five games.

California 9, Arizona State 7 (Mar 19, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.)
California.......... 110 105 010  -  9 13  2      (13-14, 1-0 PAC-10)
Arizona State....... 310 030 000  -  7 11  1      (19-4, 0-1 PAC-10)
Pitchers: California - Gold; Johnson(5); Ingram(7); Brown(9).
Arizona State - Mousser; Averill(4); Andes(6); Bresnehan(8).
Win-Johnson(1-0)  Save-Brown(1)  Loss-Andes(2-1)  T-3:09  A-2766
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