Baseball Clinches Third Place Finish In Pac-10 With 12-9 Win Over UCLA On Senior Day

May 20, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Junior center fielder Chris Duffy was 3-for-5 with a second-inning grand slam home run and sophomore shortstop Dennis Wyrick capped a great weekend of baseball with three more hits to help lead the No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils to a 12-9 win over the UCLA Bruins on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

The Sun Devils completed the 2001 regular season on a hot note, winning six of their last seven Pac-10 games. At 14-10 in league play, ASU staked its claim to third place in the conference, surpassing Cal by virtue of a tiebreaker that saw the Devils take two of three from the Bears earlier in the year in Berkeley. At 36-18-1 on the year, the Devils will wait for the NCAA Tournament selection show that airs tomorrow at 12 p.m. PST on ESPN to see where their season will continue. UCLA finished with its 2001 campaign with a 30-27 mark and a dismal 9-15 in Pac-10 play.

'There was a lot of emotion out there today with it being the last home game for a lot of these guys and we came through with a big win,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy who will lead his Devils to a fourth trip to the postseason in the last five years. 'I am very proud of this club for battling the adversity all season long and coming out and just getting the job done. We did a lot of things good today, but we still have some kinks to work out. We finished strong and as a team came together, and heading into postseason play, sometimes those are the most important factors to success.'

Senior Eric Doble made the most of his last appearance at Packard Stadium, improving to 3-2 on the year and 3-0 as a starter with a strong five-inning performance. Doble scattered five hits and three runs in his outing, striking out four and walking two. Sophomore left-hander Bryce Kartler nailed down the win with two strong innings out of the bullpen to pick up his fourth save of the year.

After UCLA and ASU exchanged runs in the first frame, the Devils set the tone of the high-scoring affair with four runs in the second and three more in the third inning. Duffy staked ASU to the early lead with his third home run and second grand slam of the year with a two-out shot over the right field fence in the second. ASU sent nine runners to the plate in the three-run third inning. Senior Jeff Phelps plated a run with a single up the middle and freshman Ryan McKenna brought home two more with a single to right field.

Riding the strong pitching of Doble and solid defense, ASU carried an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth before UCLA battled back with four runs. First baseman Eric Reece belted a three-run home run off relief pitcher Aaron Klusman to bring the Bruins to within three runs at 8-5. UCLA scored a run in the eighth to pull to within two, but the Devils padded their lead with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the eighth.

Junior Brooks Conrad tabbed a two-run double to the left field gap and senior All-American catcher Casey Myers recorded a line-drive single to left field in his final at-bat at Packard Stadium.

'That was an emotional at-bat for me and one that I will never forget,' said Myers, who is only the third Sun Devil to record 300 or more hits in a career. 'The fan support over my four years has been incredible and it really choked me up when I went up there and the crowd all came to their feet. That was a special moment.'

Duffy finished the game going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI. With his 8-for-15 performance at the plate in the three-game series, Duffy improved his season batting average to .374. Wyrick also had a hot weekend at the plate, going 8-for-11 (.727) in the three games vs. UCLA, culminated with his 3-for-4 game Sunday. Wyrick is now hitting .368 on the year. Freshman Rod Allen had a pair of hits for his 20th multi-hit game of the year and took over the team lead in batting from Myers with a .387 average.

UCLA starting pitcher Casey Janssen was saddled with the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year. He allowed five hits and five runs in just two innings of work. At the plate the Bruins were led by Reece (2x5, 5 RBI) and catcher Josh Arhart (3x4). Second baseman Josh Canales ended his Bruin career with a 23-game hitting streak intact.

The Arizona State baseball team will meet at McDuffy's Sports Bar and Grill tomorrow at noon to watch the NCAA selection show on ESPN. All media and fans are welcome to come and support the Devils as they find out where they will continue their season. For more information please call Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations Office at (480) 965-6594.

Arizona State 12, UCLA 9 (May 20, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------UCLA................ 100 004 013  -  9 14  2      (30-27, 9-15 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 143 000 04X  - 12 13  1      (36-18-1, 14-10 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: UCLA - Janssen, Diaz(3), Brandt(3), Jerkens(8), Castillo(8).Arizona State - Doble, Klusman(6), Friedberg(6), Kartler(8).Win-Doble(3-2)  Save-Kartler(4)  Loss-Janssen(2-3)  T-3:21  A-2813HR UCLA - Averill (3), Reece (10).HR ASU - Duffy (3).

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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