NO. 9 Baseball Drops Season Opener To No. 14 Long Beach State, 7-3

Jan. 28, 2005

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- A two-out, two-run double by designated hitter Evan Longoria in the top of the first inning gave No. 14 Long Beach State a lead they would never relinquish in a season-opening 7-3 victory over No. 9 Arizona State University in front of 4,783 fans Friday night at Packard Stadium.

The Sun Devils fall to 0-1 and dropped their first season opener since 2001 (5-3 loss to Texas-Arlington). ASU is now 26-3 in season openers dating back to 1977.

LBSU starting pitcher Cesar Ramos gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings of work. The preseason All-American picked up the win after striking out four and walking one. Senior relief pitcher Brian Anderson gave up one hit and struck out two in a crucial inning of work when the Dirtbags held a 4-3 lead. Senior closer Neil Jamison earned the save recording the final out of the game with the tying run on deck.

Sun Devil junior starting pitcher Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) took the loss giving up four runs and nine hits in four innings. The southpaw settled down after giving up the two first inning runs and struck out six while not walking a batter. Four relievers combined to give up only one hit and no earned runs over the final five innings. Junior college transfer Tony Barnette (Federal Way, Wash.) struck out two and allowed only one unearned run in two innings.

ASU out-hit the 49ers 11-10, but the defense committed costly errors in the loss. Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis (Issaquah, Wash.) led the offense going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Preseason All-American right fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) and senior designated hitter Joey Hooft (Reno, Nev.) each added multi-hit games.

Long Beach State junior preseason All-American shortstop Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of intentional walks. Longoria went 1-for-4 and drove in three runs. The LBSU offense also had five sacrifice bunts and two stolen bases.

The Dirtbags struck first with a pair of runs with two outs in the opening frame. Consecutive singles from Tulowitzki and center fielder Sean Boatright were followed by a two-run double to the right field gap by Longoria.

LBSU struck again with another two-out run in the top of the third to take a 3-0 lead. Tulowitzki doubled to lead off the frame and scored on a single up the middle by left fielder Jamie Huizar.

The Sun Devils cut into the Dirtbag lead with a two-run fourth inning. After singles by Buck and Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Curtis plated two runs with a triple to the left field gap.

The 49ers ceased some of ASU's momentum by adding a another two-out run in the top of the fifth inning. Tulowitzki's third hit of the game led off the inning and a fielding error by Averill chased him from the game. Sophomore reliever Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) got two quick outs before giving up a two-out single through the left side of the infield to catcher Tito Cruz.

ASU closed to within one run in the bottom of the sixth. Senior preseason All-American Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) led off with a double to center field and scored on a groundout by freshman second baseman Vinny Biancamano (Glendale, Ariz.).

The Devils stranded the tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning and then the 49ers added an insurance run in the eighth to extend the lead to 5-3. Longoria drew a two-out, bases loaded walk from Zinicola to push home his third run of the game.

The Sun Devils and 49ers continue the three-game series Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Senior preseason All-American Jason Urquidez will start for the Sun Devils against LBSU junior college transfer Cody Evans. Urquidez led the Pac-10 with 12 wins last season and is rated as the No. 6 senior in the nation by Baseball America.

Game Notes: Arizona State honored former Sun Devil All-American Paul Lo Duca by honoring his #16 jersey in a special pregame ceremony before the game... Lo Duca was the 1993 Sporting News Player of the Year setting the ASU single-season records with a .446 batting average and 129 hits... LBSU second baseman Chuck Sindlinger and Sun Devil senior designated hitter Joey Hooft are both products of Reno's Galena High School... ASU started three freshman (Romine - SS, Biancamano - 2B, Sferra - CF) and one transfer (Hooft - DH)... the series features six preseason All-Americans, with three from each team (ASU: Travis Buck, Jeff Larish, Jason Urquidez. LBSU: Troy Tulowitzki, Cesar Ramos, Neil Jamison)... the crowd of 4,783 is the biggest crowd at Packard Stadium since drawing 5,965 against LSU in 2001.

Long Beach State 7, Arizona State 3 (Jan 28, 2005 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Long Beach State.... 201 010 012  -  7 10  0      (1-0)Arizona State....... 000 201 000  -  3 11  3      (0-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Long Beach State - Ramos; Anderson(7); Hammond(8); Jamison(9).Arizona State - Averill; Bresnehan(5); Barnette(6); Zinicola(8); Dryanski(9).Win-Ramos(1-0)  Save-Jamison(1)  Loss-Averill(0-1)  T-3:51  A-4783

--Sun Devil Baseball--
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