Baseball Hammers Houston 11-1
Feb. 18, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the first ten games of the 2006 season, the big inning had been hurting ASU pitchers. Saturday afternoon against Houston, it was the Sun Devils who put up a big inning, scoring nine times in the sixth to earn an 11-1 victory over the Houston Cougars at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Freshman Jeff Urlaub, who was making his first career start, was superb, scattering five hits and allowing only one run to earn the victory. Urlaub also added six strikeouts to improve his record to 2-0.
With Houston ace Brad Lincoln on the mound, runs would be at a premium for the Devils. They got on the board in the second inning when Preston Paramore singled in Ike Davis to give Arizona State an early 1-0 lead.
Urlaub and Lincoln dueled each other until the sixth, when the Sun Devil offense sprang to life. Willy Fox led off the inning with a walk, but he quickly scored thanks to an Ike Davis double. Paramore would again knock in Davis with an RBI single, putting ASU up 3-0. After CJ Retherford reached on an error, Pat Murphy sent Eric Sogard to the plate to pinch hit for Frank Mesa. Sogard would come through, crushing an 0-1 pitch to right field for a three-run homer and a 6-0 Devils lead. That would end Lincoln's afternoon on the mound. He struck out eight hitters, but gave up six runs on seven hits, giving him his first loss of the season and evening his record at 1-1. But the Sun Devils weren't finished yet. Ike Davis singled home a run with the bases loaded, then Joe Persichina knocked in two more with his screamer up the middle. All told, 14 Sun Devils would come to bat in the sixth, and the inning would end with ASU holding a commanding 10-0 advantage.
That would be all Jeff Urlaub would need. The lefty from Scottsdale, Ariz. was masterful, mixing his slider in with his fastball and change-up to keep the Cougar hitters off balance. He would last 7.2 innings before being lifted for Brett Bruneel. Matt Trink would finish up the game for the Sun Devils, who improved to 7-4, including 2-0 in their new gold jerseys. Houston falls to 3-4 on the year.
Ike Davis went 3-5 with two RBI, Joe Persichina was 2-5 with two RBI and Preston Paramore was 2-3 with two RBI. JJ Sferra also had two hits for ASU, who equaled their season high with 14 hits. ASU and Houston will play one more on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch at 1 PM. The Sun Devils starting pitcher will be a game-time decision.