Switzer's Career-High 13 Strikeouts Paces Strong Team Pitching Performance In 10-2 Win Over Southern Utah
Feb. 2, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Junior left-handed pitcher Jon Switzer gave a commanding 13-strikeout, one-hit performance over five innings to lead a stellar team pitching performance that saw the Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team defeat the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 10-2 Friday evening at Packard Stadium.
The win improves the No. 6 Sun Devils season record to 2-1, while SUU falls to 0-2 to start its 2001 campaign. Behind Switzer's career-high strikeout total, the ASU pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts to log the second most in single-game school history. ASU pitchers struck out 22 vs. Colorado State on March 18, 1963 and also matched the 21 vs. LaVerne in a 14-inning game in 1972. In addition to Switzer's 13, junior Angel Ramirez (Gadsden, Ariz.) fanned three in two innings and senior lefty Drew Friedberg (Middleton, Wisc.) recorded five K's in two innings.
Switzer (Houston, Texas) was on untouchable out of the gates, striking out eight consecutive Thunderbirds from the first through third innings. That feat ranks second in school history, and most since ASU pitching legend Eddie Bane also recorded eight in a row when he pitched ASU's only perfect game vs. Cal State Northridge in 1973. Switzer was one off the school record of nine also set in 1973 by Jim Otten vs. BYU. The preseason All-American needed just 69 pitches and allowed only one hit in his five innings of work to pick up his first win of 2001. The Team USA member was 11-3 last year.
'I felt good out there and in command of all my pitches,' said Switzer after his sterling performance. 'It is a real good way for me to bounce back from my opening day start against Texas-Arlington where I didn't feel I faired that well. It is a real solid outing to build off of and hopefully a sign of things to come for this season.'
While the Sun Devil pitching corps pulled together a record-breaking performance, it was a coming out party of sorts for the ASU offense. With only one extra-base hit in two prior games, the Sun Devils unleashed for seven Friday night, including five doubles and two triples. Junior second baseman Brooks Conrad added two doubles to his three-hit performance, while junior center fielder Mel Stocker and freshman designated hitter Jeremy West both tallied run-scoring triples.
After jumping to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, ASU did most of the damage combined between the second and fifth innings. Sending nine players to the plate in both frames, leadoff hitter Jonah Martin got things started with a two-run double down the right field line in the second. Stocker capped the four-run rally with a sharp single through the right side.
In the fifth, West tripled in ASU' first of five runs in the inning with a towering shot off the center field fence 395 feet from home plate. After a Dennis Wyrick single to bring home West, Stocker drove a ball into the right field gap to score two more.
Stocker (Tucson) has been ASU's hottest player this series, combining to go 4-for-6 with five RBI and five runs in the two games thus far. Ironically, Stocker must have a thing for playing Southern Utah, hitting at a remarkable .600 clip (9x15) with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI in four career games. The speedster has also been a threat on the basepaths thus far in the young season, stealing six bases. He only tallied eight all last year.
Wyrick (Azusa, Calif.) has also been stellar to open the 2001 season, tabbing hits in his first six at-bats of the season and is now hitting .778 for the year. Conrad isn't far behind, connecting at a .583 clip with seven hits in 12 at-bats. Also notable for ASU was freshmen Rod Allen and Eric Keefner who both recorded their first collegiate hits.
Southern Utah starter Rick White was saddled with the loss, allowing 10 runs on 12 hits in his 4.2 innings of work. No Southern Utah player recorded more than one hit. The two teams will play again tomorrow with the third of the four game series slated to start at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium.
Arizona State 10, Southern Utah 2 (Feb 2, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Southern Utah....... 000 000 200 - 2 4 1 (0-2)Arizona State....... 140 050 00X - 10 15 1 (2-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Southern Utah - White, Matthews(5). Arizona State - Switzer, Ramirez(6), Friedberg(8).Win-Switzer(1-0) Loss-White(0-1) T-2:55 A-1873Game notes:Two SUU Players Ejected In Sixth Inning.Next Game Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. Southern UtahPitchers: ASU (Jered Liebeck), SUU (Steve Stoker)ASU's 21 K's is second most in school history
Copy by Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations