Lopez Lone Bright Spot With Three Hits As Sun Devils Fall To No. 14 Cal State Fullerton

April 9, 2001

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton junior catcher Brett Kay and sophomore shortstop Mike Rouse were each 4-for-5 with four RBI to lead the No. 14 Titans to a 13-6 non-conference baseball victory over the No. 15 Arizona State University Sun Devils on a cold and dreary Monday afternoon at Goodwin Field.

The Titans, who may very well be the hottest team in college baseball having now won nine in a row and 15 of their last 16 games, improved to 23-10 on the year. Fullerton, who was coming off a Big West series sweep of the University of Pacific, reached double-digits in runs for only the sixth time this year. The 13-run output came one day after exploding for 30 hits and 28 runs in a 28-0 shutout of the Tigers. The struggling Sun Devils dropped their eighth game in the last 11 contests, falling to 22-12-1 on the year. ASU finished the weekend with a 1-3 record, falling twice at USC in a Pac-10 series.

Wes Littleton, the first of six Fullerton pitchers, earned the win in a pre-arranged staff outing. Littleton threw two shut out innings and allowed only one hit to improve to 2-0 on the season. Hard-throwing freshman closer Chad Cordero sealed the Fullerton victory with two perfect innings, striking out three for his fourth save of the year.

ASU starter Jered Liebeck evened his season record at 1-1 with a sub-par outing, giving up four hits and two runs in one inning of work. Senior Drew Friedberg, the second of six Sun Devil pitchers, was roughed up for the first time in 2001, giving up four runs and five hits in an inning and a third. Senior preseason All-American Eric Doble made his first appearance in over a month, returning from injury to get roughed up by giving up two runs, two hits and a walk without recording an out. Redshirt freshman Aaron Klusman shined in his outing, throwing two and a third hitless innings.

The Titans opened the game with two runs in the bottom of the second. Right fielder Jason Corapci drove home the first run on a sacrifice fly and Kay singled home another run to give Fullerton a 2-0 edge. The Titans struck again in the bottom of the third with four more runs. Kay plated a run with a double off the left field wall and Rouse drove home two with a single up the middle.

ASU came back in the top of the fourth with five runs to pull to within one run. After a run-scoring single y junior second baseman Brooks Conrad, senior designated hitter Jeff Phelps fueled the two-out rally with a double off the right field wall to score two runs. Pinch-hitter Steve Garrabrants doubled to right field to bring home a run and cut Fullerton's lead to 6-5.

After Klusman held the Titan bats in check through the middle innings, Fullerton extended its lead to 9-5 with three runs. Kay provided the big blow with a two-run triple down the right field line with two outs. Rouse put the ninth run on the board with a single to right field.

The Fullerton bullpen held ASU hitless from the fifth through eighth inning, until Sun Devil senior third baseman Mike Lopez belted a solo home run over the left field fence to lead off the inning. Cordero came in and closed the door on the Devils by striking out three of the six batters he faced.

Lopez led all Sun Devils at the plate with a 3-for-3 game. He was the only Devil to manage more than one hit on the afternoon. ASU will bounce back to play a three-game Pac-10 series Thursday through Saturday at Packard Stadium against the Washington State University Cougars. ASU is 5-7 in Pac-10 play heading into the series with the Cougs.

Cal State Fullerton 13, Arizona State 6 (Apr 09, 2001 at Fullerton, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 500 010  -  6  8  1      (22-12-1)Cal State Fullerton. 204 003 04X  - 13 15  0      (23-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Liebeck, Friedberg(2), Klusman(3), Kartler(6), Doble(8), Jackson(8).Cal State Fullerton - Littleton, Lovato(3), Zahari(4), Martin(6), Waroff(8), Cordero(8).Win-Littleton(2-0)  Save-Cordero(4)  Loss-Liebeck(1-1)  T-3:38  A-741HR ASU - Lopez (2).

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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