March 1, 2002
MESA, Ariz. -- Sophomore Steve Garrabrants was a home run short of hitting for the cycle and senior center fielder Jon Sheaffer recorded a career high four RBI as the 15th-ranked Arizona State baseball team pounded out 16 hits in a 15-2 non-conference victory over Loyola Marymount Friday night at Hohokam Stadium.
The win improves ASU to 9-5 on the season and snapped a streak of five losses in the last six games. The 15 runs were a season high for the Devils, while the 16 hits were the second most in 2002, second only to the season-opening 18 hits vs. Oregon State. Loyola Marymount dropped to 5-9 with the loss and have now given up 53 runs in the last five games. ASU now leads the all-time series between the two schools 24-6.
ASU starting pitcher Mike Esposito was sharp in his outing to improve to 3-2 on the year. The hard-throwing sophomore struck out a season-high six batters in six innings and did not allow an earned run to cross the plate. Junior right-hander Jered Liebeck picked up his first career save by scattering three hits and allowing only one run in three innings out of the bullpen.
LMU starter Kevin Jenson was saddled with the loss to fall to 1-3 on the year, giving up eight hits and eight runs (four earned) in five innings. He struck out four and walked four in his outing. The Lion bullpen was roughed up for seven runs in three innings. Freshman left-hander Scott Sarver had a good outing in relief, allowing only one run in one and a third innings of scoreless relief.
The Devils threatened in their first at-bat, with second baseman Steve Garrabrants leading off the game with a double to left field, but left the bases loaded to end the inning. Garrabrants was gunned down at home plate trying to score on a groundball to third base by first baseman Jeremy West.
After LMU scored an unearned run in the top of the second on a single by Sean Smith, the Devils came right back with three runs to build a 3-1 lead. Two fielding errors by the Lions opened the gates for the three-run (all unearned) inning, with Doug Schutt plating a run on a fielder's choice and Rod Allen bringing home another run when he grounded into a 5-3 double play.
The Sun Devils added two more runs with a single tally in each the third and fourth innings to increase their lead to 5-1. Garrabrants provided the big hit with a triple to left-center field in the fourth and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Schutt. ASU added to its lead with three more runs in the fifth behind a two-run double by senior center fielder Jon Sheaffer and a run-scoring single by Garrabrants.
The Devils put the game away with four more runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to increase their lead to 15-1. Sophomore Ryan McKenna had a two-run single and freshman catcher Tuffy Gosewisch drove home a run with a single to right field.
Hot-hitting right fielder Andre Ethier had another good day at the plate, recording his eighth multi-hit game of the year and already his fifth three-hit game by going 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Ethier also tabbed his team-leading seventh double of the year and is hitting at a .455 clip for 2002. Garrabrants ended the day just a home run short of hitting for the cycle and added two RBI and one run scored.
Sheaffer, a senior from Mountain View High School in Mesa, tabbed a career-high four RBI in the victory and continues to swing a hot bat. With a 2-for-3 game, Sheaffer extended his hitting streak to a career-long eight games, going 11-for-25 (.440) with three doubles during the streak.
LMU was led by two hits each from center fielder Sean Smith and right fielder Christian Campos.
The Lions and Sun Devils will meet tomorrow for the second game of the three-game non-conference college baseball series at 7 p.m. at Hohokam Stadium. The game will be part of a Major League-College Baseball doubleheader, with the Chicago Cubs playing the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 at Hohokam. ASU junior right-hander Robbie McClellan (2-2, 3.86) will make his first career start on the mound for the Devils.
Game Notes: Garrabrants is 8-for-13 to lead off the game for the Devils with three singles, four doubles, and a home run... the Devils tied a season high with three errors... Sunday's starting pitcher Bryce Kartler recorded his first at-bat since the NCAA Tournament in 2000, hitting into a 4-6-3 double play in the eighth inning... Kartler is now 3-for-7 in his hitting career at ASU... the 16 hits are the second most by ASU this season... former Sun Devil All-American catcher Casey Myers, who is currently in the Oakland A's organization, threw out the ceremonial first pitch... Rod Allen took over the team lead in stolen bases by swiping his fourth and fifth of the year vs. LMU.
Arizona State 15, Loyola Marymount 2 (Mar 01, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Loyola Marymount.... 010 000 001 - 2 8 4 (5-9) Arizona State....... 031 134 30X - 15 16 3 (9-5) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Loyola Marymount - Jenson, Lundwall(6), Sarver(7). Arizona State - Esposito, Liebeck(7). Win-Esposito(3-2) Save-Liebeck(1) Loss-Jenson(1-3) T-3:23 A-1956