Baseball Endures First Loss In 9-4 Setback To No. 3 Florida State

Feb. 15, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The No. 3 Florida State baseball team used a pair of three-run innings in the fourth and fifth frames to storm past the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils en route to a 9-4 non-conference college baseball victory Friday afternoon in front of 3,065 fans at Dick Howser Stadium.

While the Sun Devils pounded out 12 hits in the loss, the Seminoles offensive outburst of 15 hits and nine runs was enough to gain the victory and take the 1-0 lead in the three-game series. FSU was led by the 3-for-3 game of first baseman Jerrod Brown. Every Seminole starter recorded at least one hit.

ASU (7-1) endured its first loss of the season and are now 3-1 vs. ranked opponents in 2002. The Seminoles, ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, improved to 8-3 on the season with the victory and now lead the all-time series with the Sun Devils 22-7.

FSU junior starting pitcher Matt Lynch improved to 3-0 on the year by scattering nine hits and allowing three runs in six innings. The left-hander struck out four and did not walk a batter in his outing. Relief pitcher Daniel Hodges, who played with several Sun Devils in the Alaskan League last summer, recorded his first save of the year by throwing three strong innings.

ASU starting pitcher Ryan Schroyer (Casa Grande, Ariz.) suffered his first rough outing of the year to even his 2002 record at 1-1. Schroyer, who two weeks ago was honored as the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week, allowed five runs and walked five in three and a third inning.

The Devils were led at the plate by hot-hitting right fielder Andre Ethier (Phoenix, Ariz.) who recorded his third consecutive three-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a double Friday vs. FSU. Ethier is now hitting .500 (15x30) on the year with five doubles. Freshman second baseman Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) was the only other Sun Devil to record a multi-hit game by going 2-for-4.

Things started out promising as the Devils wasted little time being aggressive at the plate, tallying two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning. The 1-2 punch of Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) led off the game with back-to-back doubles, but due to a short fence in right field, the doubles did not produce a run. Sophomore Rod Allen (Phoenix, Ariz.) brought home a run on a groundout and sophomore first baseman Jeremy West (Las Vegas) drove home a run with a double that nearly cleared the left-center field fence to cap the two-run first inning.

Florida State battled back to tie the game in the second inning. Left fielder Michael Futrell led off the inning with a bunt base hit and later came around to score when shortstop Jeff Probst grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. The Seminoles tied the game with at two-out single by Brown.

ASU retook the lead in the top of the third by manufacturing a run. Allen led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to third on a base hit by Ethier (Phoenix, Ariz.). Junior Dennis Wyrick (Azusa, Calif.) plated the go-ahead run with a groundout.

The see-saw battle continued in the fourth with the Seminoles taking their first lead with a three-run inning. Senior preseason All-American Ryan Barthelemy extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a run scoring single to right field. Sophomore catcher Tony Richie broke the 3-3 tie with a two-run single to center field to give FSU a 5-3 advantage.

With the momentum swing in the fourth, the Seminoles continued to pound on the Sun Devil bullpen by scoring three runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth to grab a 9-3 lead. The Sun Devil bullpen had its first shaky outing of the year, with Aaron Klusman (Phoenix, Ariz.), Mark Sopko (Joliet, Ill.) and Miguel Sanchez (Los Angeles, Calif.) allowing four runs in 4.2 innings.

The Sun Devils and Seminoles meet up in the second game of the three-game weekend series Saturday at 2 p.m. EST (12 p.m. MST) The game can be watched nationwide on the Sunshine Network or in Arizona on Fox Sports Arizona. ASU's right-handed ace Mike Esposito (2-0, 3.21) will match-up against FSU right-hander Blair Varnes (1-1, 5.73).

Game Notes: With the two runs in the first inning, ASU has now scored in the first frame in seven of its eight games this year... Garrabrants continued the trend of ASU's leadoff hitter for the game getting a base hit with his first-inning double... Garrabrants is 6-for-7 and Doug Schutt is 1-for-1 as the Sun Devils are 7-for-8 this year to lead off a game... the Devils have now scored in 383 straight games to extend its NCAA record... freshman Nick Cadena recorded his first career hit with a run-scoring single in the ninth inning... Miguel Sanchez made his first career relief appearance... the ASU bullpen entered the game having allowed only two earned runs in its previous six outings... ASU was 4-for-15 (.267) with runners in scoring position, while FSU was 7-for-17 (.412).

--Sun Devil Baseball--
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