Baseball Crushes Creighton 23-1 To Stretch Win Streak To 10 Games

Feb. 16, 2001

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- In its first true test of the year against a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, the No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team crushed the visiting Creighton Bluejays 23-1 Friday night in front of 2,813 fans at Packard Stadium.

The win moves ASU to 10-1 on the season and now own the nation's longest winning streak with 10 consecutive wins. Creighton opened its 2001 campaign Friday night with disappointing results. The Bluejays, who are picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference, were 38-23 last year and advanced to the NCAA Regional hosted in Tempe. Creighton returns 17 lettermen from that team.

'While it looked good on the scoreboard, there was a lot of things that just happened to go right early in this game that gave us the advantage,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We opened it up late and our reserves really stepped in and hit the ball hard. I am proud of their effort. You will see a different team out there tomorrow from Creighton. They are a good club and we are going to have to step it up.'

ASU left-handed starting pitcher Jon Switzer (Houston) improved to 3-0 on the season with a steady seven-inning performance. For the third consecutive game Switzer notched double-digits in strikeouts, tallying 11. The junior, who is ranked as the 25th top prospect for the 2001 Major League draft in June, now has 41 K's and a 1.07 ERA on the year. Freshman right-hander J.J. Jackson (Chandler) made his collegiate debut with a solid inning of work and JC transfer Jonathan Gutierrez (Denver, Colo.) pitched a no-hit ninth. Creighton starter Brian Koch was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs and six hits in his 2.2 innings of work.

The Sun Devils scored all the runs they would need in the first putting four runs on the board. Freshman designated hitter Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix) came through with a clutch, two-out bloop single to plate two runs and give ASU the early advantage. Senior third baseman Mike Lopez (Glendale) knocked home the fourth run of the inning with a double off the left field fence.

ASU's big inning came in the seventh when the Sun Devils sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs off of seven hits. Lopez connected on his second double of the game to start the onslaught scoring one run and leadoff hitter Jonah Martin (Waianae, Hawai'i) plated two more with a triple to left field. Freshman Rod Allen (Phoenix) continued his tear at the plate with a triple to score two. In 18 at-bats this year, Allen has recorded eight hits (.444), six of which have gone for extra bases.

Every starter for ASU recorded at least one hit, with senior Casey Myers (Case Grande) and Lopez both notching three apiece. Myers, who has been a run-producing machine thus far in 2001, was 3-for-3 with two RBI to lift his season total to 23. He is now just 55 short of the Pac-10 and ASU career record. Freshman Jeremy West (Las Vegas) hit his second home run of the year in the eighth.

The No. 4 Devils will play two games Saturday, starting with a 1 p.m. game against Creighton. ASU will host St. Mary's (CA) to a single contest at 5:30 p.m. at Packard Stadium in an effort to make up one of the games with UTA that was rained out. The Sun Devils will throw freshman RHP Ryan Schroyer (2-0, 0.00) in the first game with junior RHP Jered Liebeck (0-0, 1.69) expected to start the St. Mary's game.

Arizona State 23, Creighton 1 (Feb 16, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Creighton........... 000 100 0   00  -  1  3  2      (0-1)Arizona State....... 401 101 (11)5X  - 23 21  1      (10-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Creighton - Koch, Lofstedt(3), Pietro(7), Grasley(7), Garland(7), Hood(8), Bird(8).Arizona State - Switzer, Jackson(8), Gutierrez(9).Win-Switzer(3-0)  Loss-Koch(0-1)  T-3:05  A-2813  HR ASU - West (2).

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