ASU'S Hopes Of Omaha Deflated Behind Early Big Innings From Titans
June 8, 2003
FULLERTON, Calif. (www.TheSunDevils.com) - Cal State Fullerton scored seven runs in the first three innings, including a three-run first frame, and never looked back en route to a 7-1 victory over Arizona State to advance to its 12th College World Series.
The Titans, who entered the series ranked No. 3 in the nation and the national No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, won the best-of-three super regional 2-1. Sunday's win over the No. 4 Sun Devils in front of another record crowd at Goodwin Field ended ASU's season and bid for their 19th trip to the College World Series. Fullerton won the opener 5-1 on Friday, but ASU forced the decisive third game with a 7-6 win on Saturday.
Arizona State ended its season with a 54-14 record, marking the most wins since 1988 when the Jim Brock-led Sun Devils went 60-13 and finished second in the College World Series. The Titans improved to 48-14 and will play LSU next Friday (June 13) at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.
The Titans jumped on the Devils early, scoring three runs in the first inning to chase ASU starter Beau Vaughan. Lasting only one-plus inning, Vaughan, the third round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox earlier in the week, took the loss to fall to 10-6 on the year. The one-inning start by Vaughan marked the third time this year that an ASU starter did not pitch past the second inning. Vaughan gave up four runs and four hits in his final start as a Sun Devil.
Fullerton redshirt freshman starting pitcher Dustin Miller limited the Sun Devils to only three hits and one run in seven and two-thirds innings to improve to 9-2 on the year. Junior closer Chad Cordero, the first round selection of the Montreal Expos earlier in the week, sealed the victory and punched the Titans ticket to Omaha with one and a third scoreless innings.
Fullerton came out of the gates swinging putting three runs on the board in their first at-bat. Ronnie Prettyman reached on a leadoff hit-by-pitched and scored on a triple to the left field gap by Justin Turner. Right fielder Shane Costa followed with a single over a drawn-in infield to put the Titans up 2-0 without ASU recording an out. Richie Burgos followed with a run-scoring single to extend the early lead to 3-0, but Vaughan got Jason Corapci to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Titans came right back with another three-run inning in the second and a single tally in the third. Kyle Boyer, who did not play the first two games with an injury, led off the second with a home run igniting the rally to chase Vaughan from the game. CSF added two more runs in the frame with Costa driving in a run with a double and P.J. Pilittere's sacrifice fly extended the Titan lead to 6-0.
ASU scored its only run of the game in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single from freshman right fielder Travis Buck. After ASU cut the Titan lead to 7-1, neither pitching staff would give up a run the rest of the game. ASU relievers Robbie McClellan, Javy Lopez and Brett Bordes combined to hold the Titans scoreless over the final five innings.
The ASU bats again fell silent for the second time in the super regional, recording only five hits to tie a season low that was also matched in Friday's series opener. ASU entered the series as the top-ranked hitting and scoring team in the nation, but combined to hit only .224 with nine runs scored against the Titans. The one run scored also matched a season low (fourth time in 2003) and marked only the 16th time ASU has been limited to one run in ASU's 501-game NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak.
Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish led ASU at the plate going 2-for-4 and ended the season hitting .372 with 95 RBI and 18 home runs. Jeremy West (1-for-4) and Andre Ethier (1-for-3) each extended their career-long hitting streaks to 24 and 23 games respectively. West, who will likely not return for his senior season after being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 7th round, finished the year hitting .381 with 17 home runs and 71 RBI. His 24-game hitting streak is tied for the sixth longest in ASU history.
Ethier, a second-round pick of the Oakland Athletics, finished the year hitting .377 with 10 home runs. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia capped his All-American season in disappointing fashion going 0-for-13 in the super regional, but hit .404 with 120 hits to become only the 16th player in ASU history to finish a season hitting over .400.
Game Notes: The three-run first inning was the second biggest ASU has given up this year (UNM; Apr. 2; Wichita State, Mar. 19)... it marked only the eighth time ASU has allowed a run in the first inning (17 runs given up in 1st before today)... West extends hitting streak to 24 games, marking sixth longest in ASU history... Pedroia was 0-for-13 in super regional... Ethier extends hitting streak to 23 games with double in the eighth.
CS Fullerton 7, Arizona State 1 (June 08, 2003 at Fullerton, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 100 000 - 1 5 1 (54-14)CS Fullerton........ 331 000 00X - 7 10 0 (48-14)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State - Vaughan; Liebeck(2); McClellan(3); Kartler(5); Lopez, J.(5); Bordes(7)CS Fullerton - Miller; Cordero(8).Win-Miller(9-2) Loss-Vaughan(10-6) T-2:52 A-3215HR CSF - Dorn (7); Boyer (6).