Sun Devils Comeback Not Enough In 9-3 Loss To No. 1 Tulane

Feb. 20, 2005

Box Score

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Tulane right fielder Matt Barket hit a grand slam home run to lead the top-ranked Green Wave to a 9-3 victory to clinch a non-conference series sweep over No. 11 Arizona State in front of 3,085 fans Sunday afternoon at Turchin Stadium.

The Sun Devils launched a comeback with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the Green Wave bullpen threw four shutout innings to hand ASU its first series sweep since 2002 (at Florida State). Continuing a brutal stretch of nine straight games against top 10 opponents, ASU dropped its fifth straight game to fall to 6-8 on the year. Tulane, ranked No. 1 by Baseball America, continued its perfect start to the season at 7-0.

Sophomore starter Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) made his second career start and earned the loss giving up four hits and five runs in three innings. Junior reliever Tony Barnette (Federal Way, Wash.) gave up one run in one inning and junior lefty Brett Bordes (Mesa, Ariz.) allowed only two hits over 3.2 innings.

Tulane junior left-hander J.R. Crowel earned the win giving up five hits and three runs in five innings to improve to 2-0 on the season. Brandon Gomes and Sean Morgan combined for four shutout innings out of the bullpen.

Senior first baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) led the Sun Devils going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna (Yuma, Ariz.) went 1-for-3 with a RBI double and freshman Willy Fox (Scottsdale, Ariz.) hit a two-run home run in his first career start.

Barket gave the Green Wave all the runs they would need with a grand slam home run in the bottom of the third inning. A leadoff walk by third baseman Brad Emaus and then a single by Joe Holland and a hit-by-pitch set the stage for the first-pitch blast off Barket's bat over the center field fence.

The Green Wave added two more in the fourth with run-scoring singles from Emaus and leadoff hitter Nathan Southard. Tulane threatened for more before Laguna robbed a three-run home run with a catch above the right field fence and Barnette got an inning-ending 643 double play.

After holding off another big inning, the Sun Devils responded with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Second baseman Joe Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) led off with a single and after stealing second base, scored on a double to center field by Laguna. Fox pulled ASU to within three runs with a two-run home run over the right-center field fence.

After three scoreless innings from Bordes, the Green Wave added three insurance runs to pad their lead to 9-3. Shortstop Tommy Manzella started the rally with a two-out home run to left field and Southard added a two-run, bloop double to center field.

Southard (2-for-4, 3 RBI), Owings (2-for-4, 2 R) and second baseman Joe Holland (2-for-3, R) all recorded multi-hit games for Tulane.

Arizona State (6-8) returns to action Wednesday in a non-conference game against the University of Arizona at 4 p.m. at Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium. The Sun Devils return home next weekend with a three-game series against nationally ranked Baylor starting Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes: Pat Bresnehan made second career start on the mound (April 12, 2004 vs. Arizona: 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 1 K)... Willy Fox made his first career start, becoming the seventh newcomer to start a game for ASU this season... ASU used its 11th different starting batting lineup in 14 games this season... Fox hit his first career home run for ASU's fourth round-tripper this season (third to the opposite field)... ASU recorded a season-high three double plays... Jason Urquidez made his third career relief appearance... the loss marks ASU's first five-game losing streak since 1999 and first five-game non-conference losing streak since 1985.