Baseball Scratches Out 4-3 Win In 11 Innings Over No. 4 North Carolina

March 4, 2005

Box Score

GREENVILLE, N.C. ( -- Arizona State senior reliever Jason Urquidez struck out nine in 5.1 scoreless innings and sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis scored on a bases loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead the Sun Devils to a 4-3 victory over No. 4 North Carolina Friday evening at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

Arizona State improved to 9-10 overall with its third win in the last four games against a top 10 team. The Tar Heels suffered their first loss of the year to fall to 9-1 on the season. ASU ended a string of nine straight games against top 10 opponents and improved to 4-8 against nationally ranked teams this season.

Curtis (Issaquah, Wash.) reached base for the sixth time in the game on a fielding error by UNC shortstop Josh Horton with two outs in the 11th. Curtis stole second base and then senior first baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) was intentionally walked and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Curtis crossed the plate with the winning run on the wild pitch on reliever Bryan Phillips' first offering to pinch-hitter Rocky Laguna (Yuma, Ariz.).

Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) dominated out of the bullpen with a season-high nine strikeouts in 5.1 scoreless frames. He walked three and struck out the side in the top of the 11th inning to improve to 3-2 on the season. Since moving to the bullpen as ASU's closer, Urquidez has not allowed an earned run in 14.0 innings and recorded 16 strikeouts. Sophomore starter Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) was solid in his third start of the season, scattering three hits and three runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out five and walked four to remain 2-1 on the season.

Tar Heel preseason All-American Andrew Miller was saddled with the tough-luck no-decision as he struck out a career-high 12 and walked four in 6.2 innings. Reliever Jonathan Hovis allowed only two hits and struck out three in 3.1 innings.

Arizona State out-hit the Tar Heels 8-3 and scored all four of its runs with two outs. Freshman center fielder J.J. Sferra (Phoenix, Ariz.) and junior right fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) each went 2-for-6 to lead the Sun Devils at the plate. Buck recorded his fourth straight multi-hit game with a pair of doubles. Fox (1-for-4) and Buck each extended their hitting streaks to four games. Curtis went 0-for-1, but reached base safely in all six of his plate appearances and recorded a career high with four walks and was also hit by a pitch.

The Sun Devils grabbed the early lead with a single tally in the bottom of the second inning. Freshman designated hitter Willy Fox drilled a single up the middle and moved into scoring position with his first career stolen base. Redshirt freshman third baseman Jeff Landry reached on a fielding error and a perfectly executed double steal brought Fox home with the go-ahead run.

Carolina finally solved Zinicola with a pair of home runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 3-1 lead. Catcher Justin Webb led off with a solo home run to center field to tie the game at 1-1. After retiring the next two batters, Zinicola walked left fielder Mike Daniel on a 3-2 pitch and then gave up a two-run home run to first baseman Chad Flack.

ASU pulled even with a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sferra slapped a infield single to shortstop and scored on a double to center field by Buck. After a walk to Curtis, Larish drove an 0-2 pitch through the left side of the infield to score Buck with the game-tying run.

Arizona State returns to action Saturday evening against tournament host East Carolina (6-3) at 5 p.m. at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Pirates have won five straight games including a 2-1 win over Michigan to open the tournament Friday morning. The Sun Devils conclude the tournament with a 10 a.m. (8 a.m. MT) game Sunday morning. All three games in the first day of the LeClair Classic were decided by one run, as ECU beat Michigan 2-1, and Georgia beat Ohio State 4-3.

Game Notes: Redshirt freshman Jeff Landry (3B) and true freshman Greg Bordes (2B) earned their first career starts... ASU started four true freshman and one redshirt freshman in the game... ASU has now started six true freshman and two redshirt freshman position players this season... 11th year head coach Pat Murphy used his 16th different starting batting lineup and 12th different positional lineup in 19 games this season... senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch threw out his 11th base runner of the year... ASU played its ninth straight game against a top 10 opponent and has now played 13 of 19 games this season against teams that have appeared in the national polls this season... ASU struck out a season-high 15 times and both teams combined for 29 strikeouts... the three hits allowed were a season-low for the Sun Devils and the are the lowest since also allowing three hits last season against UConn (Feb. 27, 2004)... Colin Curtis recorded a career-high four walks and extended his Pac-10-leading total to 17... J.J. Sferra recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season... ASU has now faced seven preseason All-American pitchers this season and in its last three games has faced a pair of third round draft picks (Andrew Miller - UNC, Cory VanAllen - Baylor) and a second-round pick (Trey Taylor - Baylor)... ASU is 1-2 in extra innings this season and played back-to-back extra inning games for the first time since 2003 (vs. Stanford).

Arizona State 4, North Carolina 3 (Mar 04, 2005 at Greenville, N.C.)----------------------------------------------------------------------North Carolina...... 000 003 000 00 -  3  3  3      (9-1)Arizona State....... 010 000 200 01 -  4  8  1      (9-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: North Carolina - Miller, A; Hovis, J(7); Phillips, B(11).Arizona State - Zinicola; Urquidez(6).Win-Urquidez(3-2)  Loss-Phillips, B(0-1)  T-3:49  A-4410HR UNC - Webb, J (2); Flack, C (2).

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