ASU Ends Road Trip, 2-1
April 19, 2001
TULSA, Okla. -- Freshman first baseman Jeremy West hit a two-run triple in the top of the 11th inning to break 2-2 tie to help lift the No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team to a 5-2 victory over the No. 25 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in non-conference college baseball action Thursday night in front of 1,237 fans at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Playing in extra inning games for the first time since playing three in a row in 1995, the Sun Devils inched out the win to close out their three-day, three-game, three-city road trip at 2-1. ASU dropped the opening game of the trip to New Mexico State 19-16 Tuesday night, before gaining consecutive extra inning wins over Oklahoma (5-3) and Oral Roberts. ASU has now won four of its last five games to improve to 26-14-1 on the year. ORU, who entered the week with the longest active winning streak in the NCAA at 13 games, has dropped consecutive non-conference contests to fall to 28-8 on the year.
Pinch-hitter Jonah Martin fueled the ASU rally in the 11th when he led the inning off with a full-count single to center field. After advancing to second on a groundout by Nick Walsh, Brooks Conrad walked to set the stage for West. The freshman product of Silverado High School drilled a 3-1 fastball into the right field gap to drive home two runs with his fourth triple of the year. ASU added its final score of the night when West scored on a wild pitch. Oral Roberts brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 11th, but third baseman Doug Bernier grounded out to end the game.
Pitching for the third consecutive night, junior relief pitcher Andy Torres picked up his 11th win of the season by shutting down the Golden Eagles over the last inning and two thirds. Torres also picked up the win last night vs. Oklahoma. Relief pitcher Stockton Davis was saddled with the loss by allowing three runs and three hits to fall to 4-2 on the year.
Knowing it was their biggest game of the year and according to ORU head coach Sunny Galloway the biggest game for the Golden Eagles in the last six years, ORU optioned to throw ace Michael Rogers at the Devils. The hard-throwing right-hander was stellar in his 11th start of the year, going nine strong innings allowing only six hits and two runs while striking out eight.
The Sun Devils pitching staff was equally impressive, matching Rogers' outing. Freshman starter Ryan Schroyer threw three scoreless innings before giving way to the bullpen. Hard-throwing freshman Aaron Klusman contributed three and a third shutout innings while allowing only one hit.
'We did a lot of little things right to get this win,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'Jonah Martin hasn't played as a starter in two weeks and gives us a quality at-bat and a clutch hit when they count the most. Our pitching was great and we played errorless ball in the field. That is how you win ball games. Play tough against a good pitcher and then take the opportunities to win a game when you can. To win two 11-inning games for this team will really help us down the stretch.
The Sun Devils threatened though the early part of the game, leaving six runners on base and having a runner in scoring position each of the first three innings. Rogers continuously pitched himself out of jams to keep ASU scoreless. Freshman Rod Allen staked the Sun Devils to a 2-0 lead with his second hit of the game and his fourth home run of the year. Allen finished the game 2-for-4 to improve his team-leading batting average to .441.
With Schroyer already out of the game, Oral Roberts scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2-2. With two outs, Sun Devil reliever Kartler hit a batter and allowed a single before senior catcher Brian Hickman tabbed a two-run double off the base of the left field wall to account for the scoring.
Oral Roberts threatened in the bottom of the 11th, putting a runner in scoring position after a fielding error by ASU third baseman Brooks Conrad, but Torres ended the threat by striking out second baseman Danny Boyle and pinch hitter Billy Joe Richardson.
The Sun Devils will take the weekend off before hosting Gonzaga Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. ASU returns to Pac-10 play next weekend by hosting a weekend series with rival University of Arizona.
Arizona State 5, Oral Roberts 2 (Apr 19, 2001 at Tulsa, Okla.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Arizona State - Schroyer, Kartler(4), Klusman(6), Torres(10).
Oral Roberts - Rogers, Davis(10), Martin(11).
Win- Torres(11-3) Loss-Davis(4-2) T-4:06 A-1237
HR ASU - Allen (4).