Cal's Matt Brown Stymies Sun Devil Bats In 9-3 ASU Loss

April 21, 2002

MESA, Ariz. -- California starting pitcher Matt Brown scattered seven hits and three runs in seven and two-thirds innings to lead the Golden Bears to a 9-3 victory over 14th-ranked Arizona State Sunday afternoon at Hohokam Stadium. The win clinched a series win for the Golden Bears, who also took the series opener 9-5 Friday night.

Already 40 games into the 2002 season, Arizona State drops to 25-15 on the year and are 9-6 in Pac-10 play. The loss also put an end to ASU's streak of eight consecutive Pac-10 series victories. California improves to 26-19 overall and are a game above .500 in conference play at 8-7.

Brown, the reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, improved to 5-1 on the year by earning the victory on the mound for the Golden Bears. Brown, who threw a complete-game, one-run victory over Arizona last Sunday, limited ASU to seven hits and three runs in his 7.2 innings Sunday. He struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk. Reliever Jesse Ingram, the winner in Friday's game, closed out the victory with one and a third scoreless innings.

Arizona State starting pitcher Robbie McClellan was saddled with the loss to fall to 7-3 on the year and earned his first loss in a starting role to fall to 5-1. McClellan gave up five runs (all in the first inning), with only two of those being earned. He struck out three and walked two before leaving the game in the fifth inning.

The Sun Devil bullpen, comprising of Josh Perrault, Mark Sopko, J.J. Jackson and Bryce Kartler was touched up for four runs and eight hits in five innings. Kartler bounced back from recent rough outings, allowing only three hits and one run in three innings.

Two fielding errors and a huge three-run home run from sophomore first baseman Conor Jackson put the Golden Bears out to an early 5-0 lead after their first at-bat. For Jackson it was his third home run of the series and now with home runs in four consecutive games has a Pac-10 leading 15 on the year.

Arizona State kept its NCAA record 415-game scoring streak alive with a single tally in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier drilled a one-out double to the left field gap to score freshman shortstop Dustin Pedroia.

The Golden Bears extended their lead to 8-1with a run in the sixth and two more in the seventh off the ASU bullpen. The Sun Devils finally solved Brown with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. Pedroia plated a run on a ground out and sophomore designated hitter Steve Garrabrants brought home a run on a ground-rule double.

Senior second baseman Sergio Garcia was 2-for-4 in the loss to record ASU's only multi-hit effort. Garrabrants was ASU's best performer in the series, going 4-for-10 with four walks in the three games vs. the Bears.

Jackson capped a stellar weekend at the plate with a 2-for-4, three-RBI game. The sophomore hit .462 (6x13) in the three games with three home runs, five runs scored and eight RBI. Catcher John Baker added a 3-for-5 game Sunday and finished the series hitting .538 (7x13).

ASU will now take a three-week break from Pac-10 play, returning to conference action May 10-12 with a three-game series at Stanford. The Sun Devils will travel to Oklahoma City for a 7 p.m. game Wednesday against the Oklahoma Sooners at Southwestern Bricktown Ballpark, the Triple-A home of the Oklahoma Redhawks. ASU will then play a two-game series in South Bend, Ind., against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

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