14th-Ranked Baseball Tamed With Only Three Hits In 7-4 Loss To Washington State

April 5, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State starting pitcher Eddie Bonine struck out nine and limited the 14th-ranked Arizona State to a season-low three hits in a 7-4 defeat of the Sun Devils Friday afternoon in Pac-10 baseball at Bailey-Brayton Field.

With the loss the Sun Devils drop to 20-12 on the year and 4-3 in Pac-10 play. Now losers of two in a row, ASU is just 12-8 in the last 20 games. Washington State picked up its first Pac-10 win of the year to improve to 13-16 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Arizona State still leads the all-time series against the Cougars 21-5.

Bonine limited the Sun Devils to only three hits on the afternoon, with leadoff hitter Steve Garrabrants tabbing two of those. The junior right-hander who hails from Glendale, Ariz., was effectively wild with seven walks. He notched his second complete game of the year to improve to 5-4 on the year.

'Bonine was effectively wild today and really kept us off balance,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We struck out a lot and couldn't put the bat on the ball when we needed to. We didn't have much intensity and it showed in the final results.'

Reigning Pac-10 and National Pitcher of the Week Mike Esposito was roughed up in his 10th start of the year by giving up 11 hits and six runs (four earned) in six-plus innings of work. Esposito, who struck out 17 in a complete-game victory over Washington last weekend, endured his fourth loss of the year to fall to 6-4. Reliever Mark Sopko scattered three this and allowed one run in two innings out of the bullpen.

After scoring two runs in the opening frame without the benefit of a hit, the Devils added to their lead with a pair of runs in the third. Jeremy West gave ASU a 4-1 lead with his team-leading ninth home run of the year.

The Cougars batted around in the bottom of the third, using five singles and capitalized on a leadoff error by ASU second baseman to take a 5-4 lead with four runs in the inning. Justin Hart, Wes Falkenborg and Jeff LaRue all tabbed run-scoring singles in the four-run inning.

Esposito settled down with three scoreless innings until the Cougars padded their lead with a single tally in the bottom of the seventh. First baseman Steve Mortimer bounced a ball through the right side of the infield to score pinch-runner Tyson Boston to give WSU the 6-4 lead. Two-sport start Collin Henderson led off the eighth for the Cougars with a double down the right field line and came around to score on a single by Justin Hart.

Garrabrants reached base in all five of his at-bats, also walking twice and being hit by a pitch to cap off his 2-for-2 game. West's solo home run was the only other ASU hit in the game. WSU leadoff hitter Evan Hecker paced the way for the Cougar offense with three hits and scored two runs. Hart was 3-for-4, with third baseman LaRue (2x4) and Falkenborg (2x4) also picking up multi-hit games.

The Sun Devils and Cougars will continue the three-game weekend series Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at Bailey-Brayton Field. ASU is expected to start junior left-hander Bryce Kartler (2-3, 5.0) against WSU ace Brandon Hundt (4-2, 3.83).

Game Notes: With the two runs in the first, ASU has now scored in 19 of its 32 games this year... WSU starter Eddie Bonine was a high school teammate of ASU relief pitcher Jered Liebeck at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Ariz.... ASU extended its consecutive games scoring streak to 407 games.

Washington State 7, Arizona State 4 (Apr 05, 2002 at Pullman, Wash.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 202 000 000  -  4  3  2      (20-12, 4-3 PAC-10)Washington State.... 104 000 11X  -  7 14  2      (13-16, 1-3 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Esposito, Sopko(7). Washington State - Bonine.Win-Bonine(5-4)  Loss-Esposito(6-4)  T-2:34  A-751HR ASU - West (9).

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