Feb. 20, 2004
HOUSTON, Texas (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- A two-run double by designated hitter Nick Klusaw in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Lamar Cardinals a 5-4 victory over No. 7 Arizona State Friday afternoon at Reckling Park in the first day of the Coca-Cola Classic.
ASU took a 4-3 lead after its half of the eighth, when freshman center fielder Colin Curtis stole home with two outs. Freshman closer Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) surrendered both runs in the eighth to take the loss and fall to 1-1 on the year. Lamar closer Kyle Stutes picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the year with one and a third innings of scoreless relief.
The Sun Devils fall to 6-2 on the season and have dropped two of their last three games. Lamar, who has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two years, improved to 5-2 on the season.
Sun Devil All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) led the offense going 3-for-5 with a solo home run. The junior is now hitting .500 (16-for-32) on the season with six multi-hit games. Junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch also added two hits for the Devils.
The Devils jumped out to the lead with a two-run first frame. Pedroia led off the game with a solo home run on a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence. ASU added to its lead when Travis Buck scored on a delayed steal of home. Freshman third baseman Seth Dhaenens (Chandler, Ariz.) extended the lead to 3-0 with a run-scoring double in the top of the second.
The Cardinals cut the lead to 3-2 with a two-run fourth inning. Leadoff singles from Jeremy Gray and Jordan Foster led off the frame and led to the pair of runs. First baseman Ryan Finan plated the first run with a sacrifice fly to left field and right fielder John Allen drove home a run on a two-out single to left field.
Lamar tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on a leadoff home run from third baseman Adrian Cantu.
After being held scoreless from the third through seventh innings, ASU finally regained the lead in the top of the eight. Freshman Colin Curtis led off with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and eventually scored on a straight steal of home.
The Cardinals battled back in the bottom half of the inning scoring two runs to take a 5-4 lead. A leadoff walk to Foster and a single from Winn both ended up scoring. Designated hitter Nick Klusaw provided the big blow with a two-run double down the left field line.
Senior starter Jeff Mousser gave up six hits and three runs in four and a third innings. Leaving with the game tied at 3-3, Mousser started out retiring the first eight Lamar batters and struck out three in his third outing of the year. Sophomore reliever Erik Averill did not yield a run in two and two-thirds innings.
The Sun Devils return to action in the Coca-Cola Classic on Saturday with a 6 p.m. game against Memphis (1-0). The Tigers were a 6-2 winner over Cal State Northridge in the first game of the tournament hosted by defending national champion Rice. ASU will play the No. 1 Owls Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Reckling Park.
Game Notes: Pedroia reached base to start the game for the Sun Devils in the sixth straight game... his leadoff home run was his first of the year and sixth of his career... it was also his second leadoff homer of his career (at Washington; May 18, 2003)... he now has six multi-hit games on the year and 74 in his career... with his three hits, he now has 220 in his career and is hitting .387, seventh in the ASU career record books... ASU scored in the first inning for the fifth time in eight games... the Devils are making their first trip to Texas in 12 years... ASU last played a game in the Lonestar State in 1992 with a three-game series at Texas (Disch-Faulk Field) on the same weekend (Feb. 21-23) that year... redshirt freshman Seth Dhaenens made his first career start at third base... he recorded his first career hit with a run-scoring double in the top of the second... ASU stranded nine runners on base and has now left at least nine runners on base in six of its eight games.
Lamar 5, Arizona State 4 (Feb 20, 2004 at Houston, Texas) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona State....... 210 000 010 - 4 9 2 (6-2) Lamar............... 000 210 02X - 5 9 0 (5-2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Arizona State - Mousser; Averill(5); Zinicola(8). Lamar - Rinando; Cox(2); Buechner(7); Stutes(8). Win-Stutes(2-0) Loss-Zinicola(1-1) T-2:32 A-0 HR ASU - Pedroia (1); HR LAMAR - Cantu (1).