No.4 ASU Baseball Pounds Creighton, 15-2

Feb. 17, 2001

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman designated hitter Rod Allen went 2-for-4 with four RBI and hit his first collegiate home run as the No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team crushed the Creighton Bluejays 15-2 in front of 3,329 fans at Packard Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The win improved the Sun Devils record to 11-1 and extended their current win streak to 11 games. The game vs. Creighton was the first of two to be played Saturday, with St. Mary's (CA) and the Sun Devils playing a single contest Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. The Bluejays open the season 0-2 and have been outscored 38-3 in the two games.

Starting pitcher Jered Liebeck (Glendale) gave a steady, four-hit, one-run performance over 5.1 innings to pick up his first win of the year. Liebeck struck out five and walked two. A solid relief effort from the ASU bullpen combined to scatter two hits and one run over the remainder of the game. Redshirt freshman Mike Esposito (Las Vegas) allowed one hit in two innings and continues to look strong coming off Tommy John surgery just over a year ago.

The Devils put a run up on the board first with a single tally in the first frame. Run-producing machine Casey Myers knocked plated ASU's first run with a base hit to right field to score leadoff hitter Jonah Martin. The Sun Devils tallied three more in the second and the third to extend their lead to 7-0 after three innings. The big blow came off the bat of Allen who knocked his first career home run over the left field fence and on to Rio Salado Drive. Senior third baseman Mike Lopez (Glendale) also brought a run home with a double to right field.

Once again, the seventh inning provided to be the back-breaker for the Bluejays. Friday night the Sun Devils sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs in the seventh inning, with Saturday not proving to be much different. The Devils sent 13 batters to the plate, scoring eight runs off of five hits. Myers was 2-for-2 in the inning with a double and a run-scoring single. Allen knocked in his third and fourth runs of the game with a double down the left field line and right fielder Mel Stocker (Tucson) plated two more with a chopper over a drawn in infield.

Myers ended with three hits, upping his season batting average to .423 and his RBI total 25. Allen's two-hit game raised his season average to a team-leading mark of .455 and of his 10 hits, eight have gone for extra bases (6 2B, 3B, HR). Also swinging a hot bat for the Sun Devils was the bottom half of the lineup that combined to go 8-for-18. Lopez was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and freshman Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 2-for-5 game. Martin recorded a hit to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.

Creighton was led by catcher Tim Gradoville's 3-for-3 performance, including the Bluejays' first home run of the season. Gradoville connected on a solo home run to left field in the top of the fifth. Starter Dan Gooris, an eighth-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB draft last June, was saddled with loss giving up seven runs and seven hits in three innings.

Arizona State 15, Creighton 2 (Feb 17, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Creighton........... 000 010 010  -  2  6  3      (0-2)Arizona State....... 133 000 80X  - 15 16  0      (11-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Creighton - Gooris, Neneman(4), Bird(7), Humay(7).Arizona State - Liebeck, Kartler(6), Doble(7), Esposito(8).Win-Liebeck(1-0)  Loss-Gooris(0-1)  T-2:47  A-3329HR CU - Gradoville (1). HR ASU - Allen (1).
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