Cougars Inch Out 2-1 Victory Over Devils Despite Pitching Gem By Jon Switzer

April 12, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Washington State third baseman Brent Robertson scored on an RBI groundout in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Cougars to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devils in a Pacific-10 Conference baseball game Thursday night at Packard Stadium.

The Sun Devils have now dropped nine of their last 12 games and stand in eighth place in the conference with a 5-8 mark, 22-13-1 overall. The Cougars continue to play well in Pac-10 play, improving to 5-5 in league play, while maintaining a 13-22 record overall. ASU still leads the all-time series 19-4.

A pitcher's duel between ASU starter Jon Switzer and WSU's Justin Cayetano dominated a majority of the game. Switzer tied a career high with 13 strikeouts, allowing only six hits and one run in eight innings. The junior left-hander picked up the no-decision to remain at 4-2 on the year. Cayetano, a crafty lefty who transferred to WSU from Laney CC, kept the usually potent Sun Devil bats in check with seven and a third solid innings. The junior scattered five hits and struck out two while also picking up the no-decision.

ASU struck early with a single tally in the first, but that would be the only run they could muster up on the evening. Leadoff hitter Mel Stocker reached on a hit-by-pitch. After being moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Chris Duffy, Stocker stole third base and scored on a throwing error by Cougar catcher Jon Baeder. The run extended ASU's NCAA record of consecutive games without a shutout to 353 games.

With Switzer in control, chalking up 10 strikeouts through the first five innings, the Cougs finally pulled even with a run in the top of the sixth. Junior shortstop Bookie Gates led the inning off with an infield single and came around to score on a single by Robertson.

With the game tied, ASU threatened to pull ahead in the seventh and eighth innings, coming up empty each time. Senior Mike Lopez led the seventh inning off with his team-leading 16th double of the year, but was gunned down at home plate to end the inning when he tested the arm of Cougar right fielder Mike Knight while trying to score on a shallow sacrifice fly. ASU also loaded the bases in the eighth inning, but WSU closer Donny Davis put out the fire by getting Sun Devil freshman first baseman Jeremy West to fly out harmlessly to center field.

The Cougs put the winning run on the board in their last at-bat, putting a six-game losing streak to the Sun Devils to an end. Robertson led the ninth off with a single to left field of relief pitcher Drew Friedberg. After Robertson stole second, Cougar second baseman Van Delos Santos hit a hard ball up the middle that scored Roberts, who was running on the play. Delos Santos reached on an error by second baseman Brooks Conrad, but was still credited with the game-winning RBI. Davis picked up the win to improve to 3-4 on the year with a perfect ninth inning. Friedberg (3-1) took the loss to take his first loss of the year.

The Cougars and Sun Devils will square off in a 7 p.m. game tomorrow night at Packard Stadium. ASU's Mike Esposito (2-2, 4.59) is expected to start for the Sun Devils against WSU's Tony Banaszak (4-4, 7.45).

Washington State 2, Arizona State 1 (Apr 12, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Washington State.... 000 001 001  -  2  7  1      (13-22, 5-5 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 100 000 000  -  1  5  2      (22-13, 5-8 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Washington State - Cayetano, Davis(8). Arizona State - Switzer, Friedberg(9).Win-Davis(3-4)  Loss-Friedberg(3-1)  T-2:54  A-2611

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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