Casey Myers Brings Home Game-Winning Run With Single In Bottom Of Ninth To Give ASU Series Sweep Of Southern Utah

Feb. 4, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Senior All-American catcher Casey Myers hit a clutch two-out single to deep right field to score the game-winning run as the No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils clinched a four-game series sweep of the Southern Utah Thunderbirds with a thrilling 6-5 come-from-behind win Sunday afternoon in front of 2,697 fans at Packard Stadium.

The win improves ASU to 4-1 on the season and are now 18-0 in the program's career against the Thunderbirds. After dropping the season opener to Texas-Arlington, ASU has now won four straight and out-scored its opponent 45-17. Southern Utah fell to 0-4 on the year after enduring the series sweep, but looked impressive Sunday out-hitting the Devils 15-10.

ASU seemed to have the game wrapped up carrying a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning with preseason All-American closer Eric Doble on the hill. The Thunderbird bats got hot in the eighth, rallying for three runs off five singles to take a 5-4 lead. Shortstop Chad Grundy plated the then go-ahead run with a sharp single up the middle that grazed off Doble's glove.

The Sun Devils scored the equalizer in their half of the eighth when senior third basemen Mike Lopez ended a draught of 177 at-bats during the 2001 season in which ASU had not hit a home run. Lopez (Glendale) blasted a 2-1 fastball over the left field fence to even the game at 5-5.

Junior right-handed pitcher Andy Torres (Bell Gardens, Calif.), who was the starter and winner of Thursday's 18-8 win over SUU, entered the game out of the bullpen in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts to preserve the tie.

Southern Utah reliever Wes Matthews recorded two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth before senior leadoff hitter Jonah Martin singled to center field to put the winning run on base. A crucial catcher's interference call put Mel Stocker on at first and pushed Martin into scoring position with Myers coming to the plate. With one ball and no strikes, Myers hit a ball over the right-fielders head that one-hopped the fence to give ASU the 6-5 victory and clinched the series sweep.

'This is a big win for us and shows us that we can fight tell the last pitch,' said Lopez who ended the game with two hits. 'These are games that when you look back at the end of the season end up being games you had to win. We stepped up and never gave up and that shows a lot about this team.'

Torres picked up the win to improve to 2-0 on the season. Left-handed reliever Franco Pezely (Taylorsville, Utah) pitched well out of the bullpen, allowing only one run in 2.2 innings. At the plate, ASU was led by senior Jeff Phelps (2x4), freshman Steve Garrabrants (2x3) and Lopez. Lopez ended the game 2-for-3 and for the weekend against Southern Utah hit at an amazing .600 clip (9x15) with three doubles and eight RBI.

ASU will return to action next weekend with a four-game series against Duke starting Friday night at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Friday's game will be televised locally on Cox Channel 9.

Arizona State 6, Southern Utah 5 (Feb 4, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Southern Utah....... 100 000 130  -  5 15  2      (0-4)Arizona State....... 120 001 011  -  6 10  0      (4-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Southern Utah - Anderson, Matthews(7).Arizona State - Johnson, Liebeck(3),Pezely(5), Doble(7), Torres(9).Win-Torres(2-0)  Loss-Matthews(0-1)  T-2:46  A-2697HR SUU - Dickinson (1), HR ASU - Lopez (1).

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy by Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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