Baseball Clinches Series With 2-1 Win Over Trojans In Extra Innings
March 26, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State first baseman Jeff Larish hit his NCAA leading 12th home run of the season and knocked in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Sun Devils to a series clinching 2-1 victory over the No. 21 USC Trojans on Saturday afternoon at Dedeaux Field.
The victory improved the Sun Devils overall record to 18-13 and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. ASU has now won consecutive conference series at Dedeaux Field, also winning two-of-three in 2003. After winning Thursday's series opener, USC dropped its second consecutive game to fall to 14-8 overall and 1-2 in Pac-10 play.
'I am really proud of our guys to come on the road and battle back from at a tough loss Thursday night to win the series,' said 11th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'Our pitching staff stepped up the last two games and we had a lot of great performances to get a win in a playoff-type atmosphere.'
ASU led 1-0 through seven innings on Larish's solo home run that led off the fourth inning. Senior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) was held the Trojans scoreless until All-American catcher Jeff Clement drove a 3-2 fastball onto the parking structure in right field to tie the game.
Junior third baseman Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) led off the top of the 10th inning with a walk and moved to third base on a single by senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Larish delivered the eventual game-winner lofting a 3-2 pitch from closer Paul Koss to right field to plate Buck.
USC attempted a comeback in the bottom of the 10th when center fielder Dale Legaspi led off the frame with a double to the right field gap off reliever Brett Bordes (Mesa, Ariz.). After a sacrifice bunt to move Legaspi to third base, sophomore Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) got Blake Sharpe to strike out and, after an intentional walk to Clement, got right fielder Cyle Hankerd to bounce into a game-ending fielder's choice.
Bordes picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief to improve to 2-3 and Zinicola registered his second save of the year and 10th career save. Urquidez allowed only one run and six hits over eight strong innings while recording the no-decision.
Right fielder Rocky Laguna (Yuma, Ariz.) went 2-for-5 while batting in the leadoff spot to lead ASU at the plate. Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) went 1-for-2 and hit his 40th career home run to tie Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99) for fifth place in the ASU career record books. He also became only the seventh player in ASU history to record 200 or more RBI and ranks sixth with 201.
Clement, Hankerd and second baseman Hector Estrella each recorded two hits as the Trojans out-hit the Sun Devils 8-5. Left-handed starting pitcher Jack Spradlin scattered four hits and gave up on run in 7.2 innings to record the no-decision. He struck out seven and walked two. Koss, who earned the save with 2.2 scoreless innings in Thursday's 9-8 win, suffered his first loss of the season to fall to 2-1 on the year.
The Sun Devils return to action next weekend with a three-game non-conference series against Wright State (April 1-3). The series starts Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Winkles Field at Packard Stadium.
Game Notes: Jeff Larish recorded his 200th and 201st career RBI in the game... he also hit his 40th career home run to rank tied for fifth in the ASU record books... he also drew his 10th intentional walk this season... sophomore Zechry Zinicola recorded his 10th career save (second of 2005) to move into a tie for eighth in the career record books with Eric Doble (1999-2001)... sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis went 0-for-5 to end his hitting streak at nine games... after giving up a season-high nine walks in Thursday's 9-8 loss, the Sun Devil pitching staff combined to allow only five walks and one earned run over the last 19.0 innings of the series... USC assistant coach Andy Nieto was ejected from the game in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Arizona State 2, USC 1 (Mar 26, 2005 at Los Angeles, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 100 000 1 - 2 5 0 (18-13, 2-1 Pac-10)USC................. 000 000 010 0 - 1 8 2 (14-8, 1-2 Pac-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Urquidez; Bordes, B.(9); Zinicola(10). USC - Spradlin; Koss(8).Win-Bordes, B.(2-3) Save-Zinicola(2) Loss-Koss(2-1) T-3:17 A-852HR ASU - Larish (12).HR USC - Clement (5).