March 11, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Behind a strong starting pitching performance from junior Andy Torres and a 2-for-3 game with four RBI and a two-run home run from senior All-American catcher Casey Myers, the No. 8 Arizona State University Sun Devil baseball team finished off a series sweep of the University of South Florida Bulls with a 12-4 win Sunday afternoon at Packard Stadium.
The 12-4 victory clinched a series sweep by ASU, its fourth of 2001, and improved its record to 17-4-1 on the year. The USF Bulls fell to 8-10 on the year and are now 0-5 vs. the Sun Devils all-time. ASU and USF had only met one prior time, with the Devils taking two games back in 1979. By tallying double-digits in runs for the fourth consecutive game, the Sun Devils outscored USF 38-12 in the series. Sunday's victory was also a milestone at Packard Stadium, marking the 1,000th career game played at the home of ASU baseball. The Sun Devils own a commanding 776-223-1 record all-time at Packard Stadium, with the first game ever played held April 7, 1974 vs. USC.
Torres (Bell Gardens, Calif.) was masterful in his seventh start of the year, striking out four over seven innings to improve to 7-1. Torres scattered seven hits over his outing, allowing only three runs and did not walk a batter. His seven wins is tied for the national lead with New Mexico State's Dan Bivian (7-0). Freshmen Ryan Schroyer (Oracle) and J.J. Jackson (Chandler) pitched the final two innings to seal the win for the No. 8 ranked Sun Devils. In the three-game series, ASU pitchers struck out 30 batters. USF starter Shannon Royal was saddled with the loss, allowing six runs and five hits in 3.2 innings to fall to 1-2 on the year.
"Andy (Torres) just goes out there, throws strikes and gives us innings. Before you know it the game is the seventh inning, he has allowed only a few hits and he has put us is in position to win the game," raved ASU head coach Pat Murphy after the game. "This was another solid week for us and we can really take some positives away from these games. Our freshmen stepped up and showed something out there. That was four wins against teams (also Oral Roberts) that will contend for a regional berth. Now we just have to focus on getting healthy as a team with three seniors injured and prepare for Cal as we open Pac-10 play."
The scoring started with Myers (Case Grande) two-run single in the third inning to erase the 1-0 USF lead. The Sun Devils put the game out of hand in the fourth with a six-run outburst. Sending 10 batters to the plate, ASU tallied five hits to extend its lead to 8-1. Freshman Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix) ignited the rally with a run-scoring single and junior Chris Duffy extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a two-run single through the left side of the infield. After a two-run double by junior shortstop Brooks Conrad (Spring Valley, Calif.), Myers capped the six-run inning with a two-run home run deep over the right field fence. The Sun Devils tacked on three more runs in the sixth to bring the game to its final score of 12-4.
Myers finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and four RBI. He now has hits in 18 of 22 games this year, with 17 being multi-hit affairs. His fourth inning home run was the fourth of the year and 36th of his career tying him for seventh in school history. He now has 40 RBI on the year and with 246 in his career is inching towards the school and Pac-10 record of 283 set by former Sun Devil Andrew Beinbrink.
Freshman Jeremy West (Las Vegas) capped an incredible weekend at the plate with a 2-for-4 game and one RBI. The freshman first baseman was 10-for-15 (.667) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and five RBI in the four games last week to etch his name as a solid candidate for Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. In the South Florida series alone West hit a scorching .667 (8x12) and with 14 hits in his last 24 at-bats (6 games) is hitting .452 on the year to lead ASU. Collectively ASU has three regulars (Myers, West, Allen) hitting over .400 and as a team are clubbing .371 (297x800).
Freshman Rod Allen extended hitting streak to 14 games with single in bottom of fifth inning and finished with a 2-for-4 game. In that streak Allen is 22-for-51 (.431). On the year Allen is hitting .423 with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 20 RBI.
South Florida was paced by designated hitter Chris Cuccia who was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a home run.
The Sun Devils will take the week off in preparation for the Pac-10 opener next weekend against the Cal Bears. ASU will be defending its 2000 Pac-10 championship crown when they take the field Friday vs. the Bears at 2 p.m. (PST) at Evans Diamond. The Sun Devils are 90-77 overall in Pac-10 play under Murphy. Since joining the conference in 1979, ASU is 369-276 (.572) in league play with six Pac-10 titles.
Arizona State 12, South Florida 4 (Mar 11, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- South Florida....... 010 002 001 - 4 8 3 (8-10) Arizona State....... 002 613 00X - 12 11 2 (17-4-1) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: South Florida - Royal, Bartz(4), Fortner(6), Richtberg(6). Arizona State - Torres,Schroyer(8), Jackson(9). Win-Torres(7-1) Loss-Royal(1-2) T-2:56 A-1632 HR USF - Cuccia (2).HR ASU - Myers (4).
Game notes: 1,000th Career Game Played at Packard Stadium (776-223-1) ASU Ranked No. 8 by Baseball America/Baseball Weekly. USF Head Coach Eddie Cardieri Ejected In Fourth Inning.
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations