April 28, 2004
WICHITA, Kan. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State senior starting pitcher Jeff Mousser gave up one unearned run in 6.1 innings to win his third straight decision in a 4-3 victory over No. 7 Wichita State Wednesday evening in front of 4,370 at Eck Stadium.
The No. 18 Sun Devils improved to 30-13 overall and 13-3 against ranked opponents this season. ASU swept the two-game non-conference series, also defeating the Shockers on Tuesday 10-9 in come-from-behind fashion. Wichita State, ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and No. 8 by ESPN/Sports Weekly, falls to 28-9 on the season.
"Another great win in a playoff-type atmosphere on the road," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. "We got to their guy early and had some gutsy performances down the stretch. Mousser was excellent and really pitched like a senior out there. He was poised and had great command. Another team effort and now we can get focused on playing well down the stretch in the Pac-10."
Mousser (Tempe, Ariz.) improved to 4-3 on the season with his third straight victory. The right-hander struck out five and walked four while giving up only two hits. Coming off a complete-game victory over Washington State on only four days rest, Mousser has a 2.42 ERA giving up only three earned runs in the last 22.1 innings. Freshman Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) nailed down the win with his fourth save of the year and his second in as many nights against the Shockers. Zinicola gave up one hit and struck out one in 1.1 innings.
"It was a gutsy performance by Zinicola to go out there and shut down a top 10 team in their stadium with the tying run on third base," added Murphy on his freshman closer. "The guy had a tough night at the plate (0-for-5, 4 K), but didn't that that effect him and just pitched his butt off to get the team a big win."
ASU earned the victory over one of the best pitchers in the nation, as WSU sophomore right-hander Mike Pelfrey surrendered nine hits and four runs (two earned) in four innings on just three days rest. Pelfrey suffered his first loss of the year to fall to 6-1, marking the eighth time this season the Devils have handed an opponent ace a loss this season. Left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy scattered three hits in five scoreless innings to hold the Shockers close down the stretch.
ASU did all of its scoring in the first three innings, plating two in the first and one each in the second and third innings. Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) notched his 22nd multi-hit game of the year going 2-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. Travis Buck (2-for-5), Jeff Larish (2-for-5), Josh Asanovich (2-for-3 and Colin Curtis (2-for-4) added multi-hit games as the Devils out-hit the Shockers 12-6. Larish continued his recent surge at the plate, extending his hitting streak to a season-high nine games with his 14th multi-hit game of the year.
The Devils took the early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Pedroia and Buck led off with back-to-back singles on the first two pitches of the game from Pelfrey. Asanovich plated the first run with a one-out single to right field and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch followed with a deep sacrifice fly to right field.
With Mousser in control, the Devils cushioned their lead to 4-0 with single tallies in the second and third inning. Pedroia scored a run with a groundout in the second inning and a fielding error by WSU shortstop Nick McCoola allowed the fourth run to score in the third inning.
The Shockers finally broke through in the seventh with an unearned run off Mousser. A leadoff walk to third baseman Brandon Green came around to score on a single by catcher Joe Muich.
After Hottovy struck out the side in the eighth, WSU pulled to with one run in the bottom half of the inning. After a leadoff single by Kenny Waddell, senior first baseman Logan Sorensen lined a ball over the right field fence off Jason Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) for his fifth home run of the season. The Shockers threatened to add more putting the tying run on third base, but Zinicola got Muich to pop out to second base to end the scoring threat. Zinicola then retired the Shockers in order in the ninth, sealing the 4-3 victory by striking out Waddell.
The Sun Devils will take the weekend off before hosting New Mexico State to a two-game non-conference series starting next Monday (May 3) at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium.
Game Notes: The Sun Devils scored in the first inning for the 22nd time this year... the Devils handed an opposing teams ace their first loss of the year for the eight time this year... ASU is a remarkable 13-3 against ranked opponents (at time played) this season and 3-0 against top 10 teams... Pelfrey entered the game 6-0 with a 1.85 ERA and was 10-2 while being named a freshman All-American in 2003... Pedroia notched his 22nd multi-hit game of the year and the 90th of his career... he is now hitting .389 for his career (.419 in 2004) with 277 career hits to move into a tie for fifth place in the ASU career record books with Mike Moreno (1995-98)... Larish extended his hitting streak to a season-high 19 games and has raised his season average from .269 to its current mark of .288... Travis Buck recorded his 14th multi-hit game of the year... Josh Asanovich now has four multi-hit games in his last five starts and is 10-for-18 (.556) during that stretch... he was 5-for-7 with four RBI against the Shockers.
Arizona State 4, Wichita State 3 (Apr 28, 2004 at Wichita, Kan.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona State....... 211 000 000 - 4 12 1 (30-13) Wichita State....... 000 000 120 - 3 6 4 (28-9) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Arizona State - Mousser; Urquidez(7); Zinicola(8). Wichita State - Pelfrey; Hottovy(5). Win-Mousser(4-3) Save-Zinicola(4) Loss-Pelfrey(6-1) T-2:43 A-4370 HR WSU - Sorensen (5).