Lopez Has Big Day In Baseball's 14-7 Thrashing Of Creighton

Feb. 18, 2001

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Senior third baseman Mike Lopez had a career day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and seven RBI to lead the No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team to a 14-4 victory over the visiting Creighton Bluejays Sunday afternoon in front of 2,894 fans at Packard Stadium.

The win clinched a three-game series sweep for the Devils who improved their season record to 12-2 with the triumph. Creighton opened its season with three consecutive losses, being outscored 52-7 in the three games vs. the Sun Devils. ASU will next travel to No. 19 Cal State Fullerton for a three game series at Goodwin Field starting next Friday with a 7 p.m. PST game.

Starting pitcher Andy Torres (Bell Gardens, Calif.) improved to 5-0 on the season with a steady eight-inning performance. The junior scattered 10 hits in his outing, allowing only two earned runs and struck out a career-high seven. Creighton starter Cory Slining was saddled with the loss allowing nine runs and seven hits in his three innings on the mound.

Coming off only its second loss of the season to St. Mary's the night before, the ASU bats came out swinging early and often to score nine runs in the first two innings. Lopez clubbed his first double of the afternoon to right-center field to score Chris Duffy and give ASU a 2-0 advantage in the first. After scoring four in the first, the Sun Devils rallied to put five on the board in the second to take a commanding 9-0 lead. Freshman Rod Allen plated two with a single up the middle and Lopez added his second double in as many innings to bring home two more runs.

With Creighton reliever Mike Pietro in command throwing two scoreless innings in the fourth and fifth, the ASU bats came alive again in the sixth to score four runs and take the 13-3 lead. In the thick of things was Lopez who dealt the big blow with a bases loaded double to center field to empty the bases. The senior third baseman finished his career day with a single in the eighth inning to bring his RBI total on the day to seven, breaking his previous high of six set against Arizona last year. The 4-for-5 game upped his season batting average to a team-leading .479 and now has 10 doubles and 22 RBI.

'I was fortunate enough to come to the plate with runners on base and when that happens you have a duty to your team to get them in,' said Lopez after the game. 'Our team prides ourselves on getting runners on base and scoring them. I hit the ball hard and they found the gaps, sometimes you just have these types of days where things go right for you. As a team we still have to work on a lot of things and are nowhere near where we want to be. Cal State Fullerton is going to be tough and we are going to have to bring out 'A' game to that series.'

Senior All-American catcher Casey Myers (Case Grande) notched his 11th multi-hit game of the year with a 2-for-3 game and recorded his 28th RBI of the year. No other Sun Devil recorded more than one hit. In an injury-related not, senior starting first baseman Jeff Phelps will be sidelined for an undetermined amount of time with a pulled hamstring. Phelps is hitting .333 with six doubles.

Arizona State 14, Creighton 4 (Feb 18, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Creighton........... 011 001 001  -  4 11  0      (0-3)Arizona State....... 450 004 01X  - 14 13  2      (12-2)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Creighton - Slining, Pietro(4), Grasley(6), Humay(8).Arizona State - Torres, Klusman(9).Win-Torres(5-0)  Loss-Slining(0-1)  T-2:40  A-2894

--Sun Devil Baseball--
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