Baseball Spoils Switzer's Strong Outing By Leaving 16 Runners On Base In 3-1 Loss To UCLA

May 19, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils left 16 men on base, went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and had two runners thrown out at home plate to spoil a stellar 12-strikeout performance from starting pitcher Jon Switzer in a 3-1 Pac-10 loss to the UCLA Bruins Saturday night in front of 3,130 fans at Packard Stadium.

The loss ended a five-game Pac-10 winning streak for the Sun Devils, dropping to 35-18-1 on the year and 13-10 in Pac-10 play. The Bruins improved to 30-26 on the year and 9-14 in Pac-10 play. The two schools will meet in the rubber-match of the three-game Pac-10 series at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Packard Stadium. ASU needs a win to stake its claim to third place in the Pac-10. The Devils are still in good position for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament the field of 64 is announced Monday at noon from Indianapolis.

The loss spoiled another great outing Switzer, who scattered only four hits and allowed only two runs in seven innings and came within one of tying his career and season high with 12 strikeouts. Switzer was saddled with the hard-luck loss, evening his record at 5-5 on the year. In four of his last eight starts, ASU has managed to score only one run.

UCLA ace right-hander Josh Karp was made the winner in what might be his last appearance as a UCLA Bruin. The talented junior was not stellar in his outing, allowing five walks and three hit-by-pitches, but minimized the damage by striking out five batters and allowing only one run (unearned). Relievers Mike Kunes and Mike Castillo held the Sun Devil bats in check over the last four innings, combining to allow four hits. Castillo picked up his first career save with one and a third innings of no-hit ball.

The Bruins scored all the runs they would need with a two-run rally in the top of the second. Back-to-back walks from Switzer with one out fueled the rally, then nine-hole hitter Preston Griffin came through with a two-out single up the middle and leadoff hitter Ben Francisco tabbed his Pac-10 leading 20th double of the year to stake the Bruins to the early 2-0 lead.

The Devils answered with a run in the bottom of the second and threatened for more. Senior third baseman Mike Lopez reached on the first his two hit-by-pitches and eventually came in to score on a pass ball. It was came to be a common trend in the game for ASU, the bases were left loaded when junior center fielder Chris Duffy flied out to the warning track in right field to maintain the one-run UCLA lead. ASU threatened in nearly every inning, but couldn't solve Karp with runners in scoring position or with two out. The Sun Devils left two on base in the fourth, one in the fifth, three in the sixth, two in the seventh and one each in the eighth and ninth innings to tie a season high with 16 men left on base.

'We just didn't execute up at the plate and has some selfish at-bats, but that is baseball and we just have to come out strong tomorrow and put this game behind us,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We pitched well and there is no reason we shouldn't have rewarded them with a win.'

The Bruins and Devils were tied with seven hits apiece. Francisco was 2-for-4 with an RBI and designated hitter Brian Baron improved his Pac-10 leading batting average to .444 with two more hits Saturday night. Duffy was 2-for-5 for ASU, while senior first baseman Jeff Phelps and sophomore shortstop Dennis Wyrick each had two hits as well. ASU did score a run to add to its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak of 371 games. The one run marked only the 10th time during that steak ASU has been limited to only one run.

UCLA 3, Arizona State 1 (May 19, 2001 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------UCLA................ 020 000 010  -  3  7  1      (30-26, 9-14 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 010 000 000  -  1  7  0      (35-18-1, 13-10 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: UCLA - Karp, Kunes(6), Castillo(8).Arizona State - Switzer, Torres(8), Kartler(8), Klusman(9).Win- Karp(5-2)  Save-Castillo(1)  Loss-Switzer(5-5)  T-3:30  A-3130

--Sun Devil Baseball--

Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations

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