Cal Salvages Series With 17-5 Win Over ASU Baseball
March 18, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Sophomore designated hitter John Baker had a career day at the plate going 4-for-5 with six RBI and two runs scored to help the University of California Golden Bears to a 17-5 Pac-10 victory over the No. 4/6 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Evans Diamond.
Just like last year, the Sun Devils opened their Pac-10 schedule with consecutive wins over Cal, winning Friday and Saturday's games., to gain a series win on the road in Pac-10 play. ASU also took two of three last year from the Bears, but with the loss Sunday, ASU now stands at 19-5-1 on the year and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. ASU had its six-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in eight games. The Bears salvaged their Pac-10 season opening series with the convincing win, improving to 14-11 on the year. ASU has yet to open a Pac-10 season with three straight wins since 1989 when the Sun Devils swept UCLA.
'You have to give the Cal Bears a lot of credit on this win,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We came out looking good, but they exploded in the second inning and put the momentum in their corner. They had the clutch hits and pitched well. We just didn't respond very well today, but we got two wins to open the season and have another tough series on the road next weekend vs. Oregon State.'
ASU scored its first run without the benefit of a hit to take the early lead. Junior right fielder Jonah Martin drew a one-out walk and advanced to third base on a error by first baseman Derek Ayers. Martin staked ASU to a 1-0 lead when he scored on a deep sacrifice fly to center field by senior designated hitter Jeff Phelps.
The Devils added a run in the second to expand their lead to 2-0. Rod Allen extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a two-out single to left field. After a walk to Mike Lopez and an infield single by shortstop Dennis Wyrick, junior center fielder Chris Duffy laid down a perfect drag bunt down the right field line to score Allen. The bunt single extended Duffy's hitting streak to 15 games.
The Golden Bears stormed back in the bottom of the second with five runs on five hits to chase ASU starter Andy Torres from the game. Freshman catcher Spencer Wyman delivered a two-run double to tie the game at 2-2. A leadoff single by Connor Jackson and a hustle double by second baseman Carson White set the table for Wyman, who doubled his RBI output on the season with the two-run double. Leadoff hitter Ben Conley plated a run on a single up the middle on a play in which Casey Myers appeared to block the plate and tagged out Wyman to end the inning. The home plate umpire ruled Conley safe, give Cal the lead and extending the inning. On the very next at-bat, Baker hit an opposite field home run to left field to give Cal a 5-2 lead.
A three-run home run by shortstop Jeff Dragicevich in the bottom of the third extended Cal's lead to 8-2. The Sun Devils fought back with three runs in their next at-bat, cutting Cal's lead to 8-5. Duffy delivered a run-scoring single to right field and Phelps plated ASU's third run of the inning with a double off the left field wall to score freshman Ryan McKenna. The Golden Bears added seven more runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 15-5. Baker provided the big blow with a bases-loaded double to left field to score three. Single runs in the sixth and seventh frames brought the game to its final score of 17-5.
Torres' bid to become the nation's winningest pitcher with eight wins fell to the wayside, allowing five earned runs in an inning and two-thirds of work. After losing his Pac-10 debut, the junior is now 7-2 on the year. A handful of ASU relief pitchers were pounded for 21 runs and 10 hits in 7.1 innings of combined work. Reliever Franco Pezely suffered his worst outing of the year, giving up four runs and four hits in just a third of an inning of work.
Offensively Allen led the Sun Devils with a 3-for-5 game and two runs scored. The product of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix took over the team lead in hitting with a .443 (27x61) batting average on the year. In his 17-game hitting streak Allen is torturing opposing pitchers with a .450 average. Duffy was 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI to up his season batting average to .400 on the year. Phelps also added two RBI for ASU.
The Golden Bears were led by a handful of players who roughed up the Sun Devil pitching staff. Besides Baker's career game, Dragicevich was 2-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored. Relief pitcher David Cash picked up the win to improve to 6-1 on the season by allowing only one hit in 3.1 shutout innings of work while striking out six. Starter Jason Dennis fell just one out short of gaining the win, allowing runs and nine hits in 4.2 innings.
The Sun Devils (19-5-1) will continue defending its 2000 Pac-10 championship next weekend with a three-game series at Oregon State. The series will run Saturday through Monday to accommodate final exams for the Beavers.
California 17, Arizona State 5 (Mar 18, 2001 at Berkeley, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 110 300 000 - 5 10 1 (19-5-1, 2-1 PAC-10)California.......... 053 701 10X - 17 16 1 (14-11, 1-2 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Torres, Schroyer(2), Klusman(3), Pezely(4), Jackson(5), Friedberg(7).California - Dennis, Cash(5), Holder(9).Win-Cash(6-1) Loss-Torres(7-2) T-3:41 A-704HR CAL - Baker (2), C. White (3), Dragicevich (2).