No. 1 Stanford Pitches Past ASU Baseball In 6-2 Victory

March 30, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Stanford starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie gave up three hits and two runs in six innings to improve to 7-0 on the season, helping lift the No. 1 Cardinal to a 6-2 victory over the No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils Friday night at Packard Stadium in a Pacific-10 Conference baseball game.

The Cardinal extended its current winning streak to nine games and have won 21 of their last 23 games to improve to 23-5 on the year and a stay unbeaten in the Pac-10 at 4-0. Stanford is now 9-1 against teams ranked in the top 25 this year. ASU falls to 20-8-1 on the year and 3-4 in Pac-10 play. The Sun Devils have now dropped three straight, marking the first time since 1999, and have been dismal at the plate over the last six games with hitting .242 as a team while going 2-4.

Guthrie was strong in his outing, going six strong innings while throwing 91 strikes to improve to a perfect 7-0 on the year. The sophomore transfer from BYU scattered three hits and two runs, while striking out four. Although he was solid, the two-time Pac-10 pitcher of the week saw his nearly impeccable 1.12 ERA jump to a still masterful mark of 1.31. Local product Ryan McCally of Mountain Pointe High School recorded the last out of the game to pick up his second save of 2001.

The Cardinal handed ASU starter Mike Esposito his second consecutive and career loss, allowing eight hits and five runs in six innings. The redshirt freshman, who made his fifth start of 2001 on the one-year anniversary of his Tommy John surgery, struck out six and walked three on 92 pitchers. Senior Drew Friedberg and sophomore Jered Liebeck pitched the remaining three innings, holding Stanford to one run and three hits.

Stanford jumped on the board first with three runs in the top of the third. A leadoff single by catcher Ken Tirpack and then a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with only one out. Left fielder Jason VanMeetren plated both runs with a towering triple to right-center field to give Stanford the 2-0 lead. Right fielder Carlos Quentin drove home VanMeetren with a sacrifice fly on a ball that was dropped by center fielder Chris Duffy.

The Sun Devils battled back in the bottom half of the third to pull back to within one run. Freshman first baseman Jeremy West led the inning off with a walk and moved to third on a double by senior third baseman Mike Lopez. Hot-hitting shortstop Dennis Wyrick plated both runs with a sharp single up the middle. Guthrie and the rest of the Stanford pitching staff then went into cruise control, allowing only three more hits the rest of the way. The Cardinal pitching staff came into the game with a 2.78 ERA, but lowered that already impressive mark to 2.75.

The No. 1 Cardinal added a single tally in each the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to pad its lead to 6-2. ASU did have its chances though, and untimely hitting and a few questionable calls allowed the Cardinal to keep control and cruise to their 23rd victory of 2001. The Devils had a rally brewing in the seventh with runners on first and second and no outs. Lopez laid down a good bunt that was fielded by relief pitcher J.D. Wilcox. Wilcox threw to third base and cut down Brooks Conrad on a very controversial play. Nonetheless, Conrad was out and ASU left two runners in scoring position. For the game ASU stranded nine runners on base.

Wyrick had a solid game at the plate, collecting two of ASU's five hits and added two RBI. He knocked his fifth double of the year in the ninth, already doubling his entire 2000 total of two. The sophomore shortstop extended his hitting streak to five games and is now leading the team with a .413 (31x75) batting average. Junior center fielder Duffy extended his hitting streak to a team-high 19 games with a double.

The Cardinal and Sun Devils will square off tomorrow for the second game of the three-game Pac-10 series. In a match-up of two perfect pitchers, the Sun Devils will throw junior LHP Jon Switzer (4-0, 3.76) against Stanford's Jeff Bruksch (5-0, 2.75). Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium.

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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