Baseball Comes Up With Thrilling 5-3 Win Over Oklahoma In 11 Innings
April 18, 2001
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Sophomore shortstop Dennis Wyrick provided a clutch, game-winning, two-run single with two outs and two strikes on him in the top of the 11th inning to lead the No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team to a thrilling 5-3 win over the University of Oklahoma Sooners Wednesday night at Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark.
Wyrick, who had been in an 0-for-19 slump heading into last night's game at New Mexico State, contributed three hits in a 19-16 loss to NMSU and added two more tonight, plating three of ASU's five runs to help lead the Sun Devils to their fifth win in the last six contests over the Sooners. ASU now leads the all-time series with Oklahoma 39-15.
Despite dropping 10 of its last 15 games, ASU picked up arguably its biggest victory of the season against a Sooner ball club, that although is struggling, was a top 15 team when the 2001 preseason college baseball polls were released. The Sun Devils are now 25-14-1 on the season. Oklahoma falls to 15-26 on the year and has now lost four of its last five games.
'This was a team win. It wasn't about my final at-bat where we won the game. It was about every at-bat in this game,' said Wyrick after the game. 'We battled start to finish and came out with a big win. We have had some tough luck lately, but we never lost confidence. That is the character of this team. The scary thing is that we can still play better with the most important part of our season ahead of us.'
Playing its longest game since May 7, 1999 at Washington (12 innings), Andy Torres picked up his 10th win of the year while pitching two shutout innings of relief. With the tying run at the plate, Torres struck out shortstop Sergio Garcia for the second out of the 11th and a batter's interference call ended the game for the double play, sealing the 5-3 win.
'This is as gutsy as a performance as you will see from a team that has so much character. We battled, never gave up and played the whole way through... start to finish. We just never gave up and this shows the character of this team,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We had everything stacked up against us after a tough loss last night, rough travel plans that gave the kids only a few hours of sleep and just a tough game.'
In addition to Wyrick's two hits, senior All-American catcher Casey Myers added a 3-for-5 game for his 25th multi-hit game of the year and the 91st of his career. Freshman left fielder Rod Allen was 2-for-4 to raise his team-leading batting average to .439 (47x107). Myers is second on the team at .422. ASU starting pitcher Mike Esposito was stellar on the mound, scattering three hits and one earned run in five innings of work. Senior relief pitcher Drew Friedberg held the game close in the late innings, contributing three shutout innings with four strikeouts.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a productive first inning. Hot-hitting freshman shortstop Steve Garrabrants led off the game with a triple to the left field gap. For Garrabrants it was his eighth hit in his last 13 at-bats. He scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by catcher Casey Myers to give ASU the early 1-0 advantage.
After three scoreless innings from Esposito, the Sooners evened the game at 1-1 with a single tally in the bottom of the fourth. Designated hitter Charlie Frasier plated the lone Sooner run in the inning with a sacrifice fly to right field. Oklahoma took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a controversial play at the plate. After third baseman Jason Bartlett reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to third on a stolen base and an error, he scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice in which he appeared to be tagged out at the plate by ASU catcher Cesar Castillo.
Trailing for the first time in the game, the Sun Devils put their defensive woes behind them to regain the lead. Junior second baseman Brooks Conrad led off the sixth inning with a sharp single to left field and came around to score the equalizer on a single by Wyrick. Garrabrants plated the go-ahead run with a bloop single to right field to score Wyrick and give ASU the 3-2 lead.
Friedberg held the Sooner bats in check until Oklahoma tied the game in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth. With ASU ace reliever Aaron Klusman on the mound the Sooners managed to load the bases. With two outs, Frasier hit a soft grounder to Wyrick that went as an infield hit to score the game-tying run. On the same play Garcia tried to score from second base, but was thrown out at home by second baseman Conrad. Garcia ran over Myers at the plate on the play, but ASU's All-American catcher held onto the ball to send the game into extra innings.
The Sun Devils put the game out of reach in the 11th with the two-run single by Wyrick. Conrad and redshirt freshman Nick Walsh drew two-out walks to load the bases, setting the table for Wyrick's clutch hit. With two strikes and two outs, the sophomore native of Azusa, Calif., gave the Sun Devils the 5-3 lead on a sharp single to right field off OU reliever Matt Sorensen. Sorensen, the sixth of seven OU pitchers, struggled in his outing, walking four and allowing one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
The Sun Devils will complete their three-day, three-game tour of the Southwest and Midwest tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. game at Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla. Freshman Ryan Schroyer will start for ASU against Golden Eagle ace Michael Rogers.
Arizona State 5, Oklahoma 3 (Apr 18, 2001 at Oklahoma City, Okla.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 100 002 000 02 - 5 14 4 (25-14-1)Oklahoma............ 000 110 001 00 - 3 9 4 (15-26)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Esposito, Friedberg (6), Klusman(9), Torres(10).Oklahoma - Hankins, B., Bradbury, M.(2), Coose, A.(6), Blair, B.(8), Roberts, M.(9), Sorensen, M.(11), Bagley, B.(11).Win-Torres (10-3) Loss-Sorensen, M.(1-3) T-3:48 A-3489
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations