Strong Pitching Pushes Bruins Past Sun Devils, 3-1
May 19, 2001
TEMPE, AZ - Josh Karp allowed three hits in 5.0 innings to pick up the win, helping UCLA defeat Arizona State, 3-1, at Packard Stadium this evening. The junior right hander most likely played his final collegiate game, and picked up his fifth win of the season to finish the regular season with a 5-2 record. UCLA improves to 30-26 on the year, 9-14 in Pac-10 play. Arizona State drops to 35-18-1, 13-10 in Pac-10 play. It is the third straight year that UCLA head coach Gary Adams has led his team to a 30-win season, and the 18th time in 27 years at UCLA.
The Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Casey Grzecka and Eric Reece walked to put runners at first and second. Preston Griffin's two-out RBI single allowed Grzecka to score, and Ben Francisco had an RBI double that scored Reece. It was Francisco's 20th double of the season, a mark that puts him tied for 8th with Jeff Osborn and Daniel Sullivan for doubles in a season.
Arizona State added an unearned run in the bottom of the second, but Karp got out of jams very well. Although he allowed several free passes to the Sun Devils, the highly touted junior did not allow an earned run, and only allowed three hits in 5.0 innings. Karp allowed five walks, and hit three batters, but struck out five.
The Bruin defense made some spectacular plays, especially third baseman Randall Shelley. Twice, he threw runners out at home, and in the fourth, he climbed the fence to catch a ball destined for foul territory.
UCLA added an insurance run in the eighth. Francisco led of the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Canales sacrifice bunt. He scored on a Brian Baron RBI single down the left field line. It was Baron's 103rd hit of the season, allowing him to move into fifth place for hits in a single season.
Mike Kunes pitched well in relief of Karp, shutting out the Sun Devils and allowing just four hits in 2.1 innings. Mike Castillo picked up his first save of the season, not allowing a hit in the final 1.2 innings of the game. He struck out Dennis Wyrick to end the game.
Jon Switzer (5-5) was strong on the mound for the Sun Devils, allowing just two runs and striking out 12 in 7.0 innings, but suffered the loss.
Josh Canales hit a single in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 23 games. With the win, Karp moved into 5th place with 23 career victories. With 282 strikeouts, he finishes the season in fourth place on the career strikeouts list. With 44 career starts, he is in 5th place on the career list.
The Bruins will conclude the regular season on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Packard Stadium.