Baseball Can't Hold On To 4-0 Lead In 6-4 Loss to No. 3 Florida State

Feb. 17, 2002

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In front of a hostile crowd of 3,864 at Dick Howser Stadium, the No. 3 Florida State baseball team scored three runs in each the seventh and eighth innings to erase a 4-0 deficit and brought home a series sweeping 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the No. 5/13 Arizona State Sun Devils. Center fielder Nick Rogers had the big hit, tabbing a two-run home run in the seventh to cut ASU's lead to 4-3 and put the momentum in the FSU corner. Relief pitcher Daniel Davidson earned his first career victory with 1.2 perfect innings and closer Eric Roman picked up his fourth save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Entering the weekend a perfect 7-0, the loss drops ASU to 7-3 on the season and are now 1-15 all-time in Tallahassee. Florida State improved to 10-3 with its fourth consecutive win and are now 24-7 all-time against the Sun Devils.

The Seminoles, who were in jeopardy of being shutout for the first time in 103 games, finally got to Kartler in the bottom of the seventh with three runs. After two throwing errors on attempted pickoffs by Kartler led to one run, Rogers hit a two-run home run over the right field fence to cut ASU's lead to 4-3.

Behind the rowdy home crowd, the Seminoles put three more on the board off reliever Robbie McClellan (Liberal, Kan.) in the bottom of the eighth to gain their first lead of the game en route to the series sweeping victory. FSU pulled even on a Kevin Richmond sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Domonic Robinson. After a hit-and-run single by shortstop Scott Toole, catcher Tony Richie drove home the eventual game-winning run with a single to left field. FSU tallied its third run of the inning on a delayed double steal to take a 6-4 lead.

ASU struck first by jumping out to a 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the second inning. Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and came around to score all the way from first on a triple by hot-hitting right-fielder Andre Ethier. Senior catcher Cesar Castillo (Yuma), who made his first career start, staked ASU to the 2-0 lead with an infield single to score Ethier. Sophomore preseason All-American Rod Allen (Phoenix/Desert Vista) put ASU up 3-0 with a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning.

In a gamesmanship type move, ASU started sophomore right-hander Josh Perrault (Mesa/Mountain View), and removed him for slated starter Bryce Kartler (Phoenix/Shadow Mountain) with two outs in the first inning. Kartler pitched well in his third appearance of the year, giving up only the three runs in the seventh inning and striking out six. The junior left did walk three and hit a career high four batters. McClellan took the loss to fall to 2-1 on the year.

The Sun Devil offense matched FSU with seven hits, but left eight runners on base. Allen was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and center fielder Jon Sheaffer tabbed his third career multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 game.

Arizona State (7-3) will host nationally ranked Cal State Fullerton next weekend in a three-game series at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz. Game times are scheduled for 6 p.m., 6 p.m. and 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For ticket information, please call (480) 965-2381.

Game Notes: in a last-minute lineup switch, ASU's Josh Perrault made his first career start as a Sun Devil on the mound... Cesar Castillo also made his first career start behind the plate... Sun Devil assistant coach continued his routine of sliding into the third base coaching box, drawing a applause from the FSU crowd... leadoff hitter Steve Garrabrants had his nine-game hitting streak come to an end by going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts... with his 1-for-4 game, Ethier is now hitting .486 (18x37) on the year... for the series Ethier hit .545 (6x11) with a double and a triple... entering the series with a 2.00 team ERA, the Sun Devil pitchers had a 7.50 ERA in the three games vs. FSU.

Florida State 6, Arizona State 4 (Feb 17, 2002 at Tallahassee, Fla.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 020 010 100 - 4 7 2 (7-3)Florida State....... 000 000 33X - 6 7 1 (10-3)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Perrault, Kartler(1), McClellan(8). Florida State - Read,Peterson(7), Davidson(7), Roman(9).Win-Davidson(1-0) Save-Roman(4) Loss-McClellan(2-1) T-2:36 A-3864HR ASU - Allen (2).HR FSU - Rogers (3).Game notes:First career starts for Cesar Castillo (C) and Josh Perrault (RHP)Game: GAME-10

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