Baseball Routs Washington State 14-4 With Offensive Outburst Of Season High 22 Hits

April 14, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Led by Freshman Jeremy West's 4-for-5 game and a career-high four RBI, the No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team racked up a season-high 22 hits en route to a 14-4 thrashing of the Washington State Cougars in Pac-10 baseball action on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

The win gave ASU its first Pac-10 series win since the conference opening series against Cal in mid March. The Sun Devils had lost three straight Pac-10 series (all 1-2) before handing the Cougars a 2-1 series setback. After dropping the first game 2-1, ASU rebounded with a 4-3 win Friday night and the 14-4 crushing Saturday. The Devils improved their season record to 24-13-1 on the year and are a half game out of third place with a 7-8 Pac-10 record. The Cougars dropped to 13-24 on the year and are 5-7 in league play under first-year head coach Tim Mooney.

'We were aggressive at the plate today and our hitters went up there with confidence and with a game plan in mind,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We needed a win like this to gain some confidence. That team over there (WSU) is good and will only get better. Klusman did an excellent job for us and really stepped in there in a crucial time of the game and performed well.'

The 22 hits surpassed the previous team high of 21 set vs. Oral Roberts on March 3. Besides West's big game at the plate, several Devils pitched multi-hit games. All-American catcher Casey Myers continues to have a banner senior season, contributing his 24th multi-hit game of the year with a 3-for-6 performance. It was Myers' ninth three-hit game of 2001 and the 90th overall multi-hit game of his illustrious career. With two RBI on the afternoon, Myers has 50 on the year and 256 in his career, leaving him just 28 short of tying the Pac-10 and ASU career records. His .418 season batting average ties him for the team lead with freshman Rod Allen. Allen matched his career high with a 3-for-4 game for his 12th multi-hit game of the year, adding an RBI, a run scored.

Junior reserve outfielder Jon Sheaffer tabbed his first career multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Not to be lost in the mix were the games of Chris Duffy (3x5, 2R), Steve Garrabrants (3x4, 2 R, RBI) and Jeff Phelps (2x4, 4 RBI). Phelps, a senior from Yuma, ended a 0-for-8 slump with both a two-run double and triple.

Not to be overshadowed by the stellar hitting performance by the Sun Devils was the marvelous pitching by redshirt freshman reliever Aaron Klusman (1-0). Klusman, a product of Phoenix's Brophy Prep High School, came out of the bullpen to strike out a career high 10 batters, earning his first career win by allowing only five hits and one run in a strong six-inning outing. In 18.1 innings this year, Klusman leads the team with a 2.45 ERA and has struck out 32 batters. Opponents are hitting just .164 off him.

'I felt good out there and I am pitching with confidence. That is the key. My struggles have been not getting ahead of batters, but today I worked ahead of all the hitters,' said Klusman after his best performance as a Sun Devil. 'This is a good win for us all around, but to have so many younger players step up in a Pac-10 game really gives us confidence. We needed a game like this where we just played the way we are capable of playing.'

After a pair of one-run games decided the first two games of the series, the Sun Devils wasted little time putting runs on the board by scoring three in their first at-bat. After a Duffy drag bunt single, Myers doubled off the left field fence to put two runners in scoring position. Allen staked ASU to the early lead with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to score Duffy. After consecutive hit-by-pitches from WSU starter Jamin Svendsen (2-1), West plated two runs with a bloop single to center field.

The Cougars battled back with two runs in the top of the third to chase ASU freshman starting pitcher Ryan Schroyer from the game. First baseman Stefan Bailie brought home a run on a groundout and shortstop Bookie Gates tabbed WSU's second run with an infield single to pull to within one run, 3-2.

The Sun Devils answered the Cougar rally with three more runs in the bottom of the third to extend their lead to 6-2, and they never turned back. West once again provided the big hit with a two-run single to left field. Sheaffer brought home ASU's sixth run with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Cougars added a run in the top of the fourth and threatened with the bases loaded and not outs, but Klusman came out of the bullpen to strike out the side.

A six-hit outburst resulted in four more runs for the Sun Devils in the bottom of the fifth, ultimately putting the game out of reach. A leadoff double down the left field line by junior second baseman Brooks Conrad set the table for the Sun Devil rally with freshman shortstop Garrabrants plating the first run on a single to center field. Phelps provided the big blow with a two-run triple to right field and Myers completed the four-run inning with a single up the middle to score Phelps.

ASU scored a single run in the seventh and came back with three more in the eighth to bring the final score to 14-4. Consecutive singles by West and Garrabrants led off the eighth inning and Phelps doubled in two runs with a shot to center field. Cougar right fielder Mike Knight was 3-for-4 to lead WSU at the plate.

Arizona State will take a week off from its 2001 Pac-10 slate, playing five non-conference games before hosting rival University of Arizona in two weeks (April 27-29) at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils will play three different schools in three days starting Tuesday with a road game at New Mexico State. ASU will then travel to Oklahoma City to play the University of Oklahoma on Wednesday and to Tulsa, Okla., to play Oral Roberts on Thursday. ASU hosts Gonzaga to a pair of games April 23-24 at Packard Stadium before entertaining the Wildcats.

Arizona State 14, Washington State 4 (Apr 14, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Washington State.... 002 100 001  -  4  8  1      (13-24, 5-7 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 303 040 13X  - 14 22  1      (24-13-1, 7-8 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Washington State - Svendsen, Banaszak(3), Thompson(5). Arizona State - Schroyer,Kartler(3), Klusman(4).Win-Klusman(1-0)  Loss-Svendsen(2-1)  T-3:16  A-2462

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations