Nick Walsh Hits First Career Home Run To Lead Baseball To 4-3 Defeat Of WSU Cougars

April 13, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State utility player Nick Walsh recorded his third game-winning hit of the year, this time belting his first career home run in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and help lift the No. 15 Sun Devils to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Washington State Cougars in Pacific-10 Conference baseball action Friday night at Packard Stadium.

Junior relief pitcher Andy Torres was also a major factor in the game, throwing five brilliant shutout innings at the Cougars to pick up his team-leading ninth win of the year. Torres, a junior college transfer from East Los Angeles CC, scattered only two hits and struck out seven in five innings to pick up the win.

The Sun Devils ended a mini-draught with the win, but have still lost nine of their last 13 games. ASU is now 23-13-1 on the year and at 6-8 in league play are one game out of fourth place. The Cougars dropped to 13-23 on the year and are 5-6 in Pac-10 play. The two teams will meet in the rubber-match of the three-game tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for noon at Packard Stadium.

After the Cougars and Devils exchanged runs in the first frame, ASU jumped to a 2-1 lead with a single tally in the third. WSU starter Zach Fisher did not give up a hit until the third inning, and it was his only hit given up, but the junior did walk seven in his outing to help give the Sun Devils the early 2-1 advantage. ASU freshman left fielder Rod Allen plated the go-ahead run with a sharp groundout to shortstop to score Walsh.

The Cougars jumped back ahead of the Sun Devils with two runs in the top of the fifth. Leadoff hitter Adrian Thomas connected on his fourth home run of the year to give WSU the 3-2 lead. Thomas' two-run shot to left field scattered ASU starter Mike Esposito (2-2) from the game.

ASU answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 3-3. Allen scored all the way from first base on a two-out double down the right field line by junior second baseman Brooks Conrad.

Walsh put ASU ahead for good with his first career home run in the seventh. With two strikes, the redshirt freshman from Alamo, Calif., greeted WSU relief pitcher Nick Kenyon with the shot deep over the right field fence. Walsh also recorded game-winning hits against Cal State Fullerton and California earlier this year.

'It was my first home run since high school and I wasn't trying to get the ball out of the park, I was just trying to make contact with two strikes,' said Walsh after the game. 'This is big for us. We need to win games like this because we are struggling a bit. Coach Murphy tells us to take it one game at a time and focus on the task at hand.'

Junior center fielder Chris Duffy was the only Sun Devil to record more than one hit, going 2-for-5. Junior center fielder Evan Hecker led the Cougars with a 3-for-4 game.

Arizona State 4, Washington State 3 (Apr 13, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Washington State.... 100 020 000  -  3  9  3      (13-23, 5-6 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 101 010 10X  -  4  6  2      (23-13-1, 6-8 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Washington State - Fisher, Kenyon(4), Alwert(7). Arizona State - Esposito, Torres(5).Win-Torres(9-3)  Loss-Kenyon(0-3)  T-3:23  A-2581HR WSU - Thomas (4). HR ASU - Walsh (1).

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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