Sun Devils Give Valiant Effort In 5-3 Loss To No. 7 Stanford

May 10, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford preseason All-American starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie scattered eight hits in his third straight complete game to help lead the seventh-ranked Cardinal to a 5-3 victory over the No. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils in the opener of a key three-game Pac-10 baseball series Friday night at Sunken Diamond.

With both teams locked in a three-way tie for third place in the conference to start the night, Stanford (34-13, 10-6), the consensus preseason No. 1 team in the nation, moved into a tie for second with Washington (4-1 loss at USC) with the win. Arizona State drops to 27-17 overall and with a 9-7 record in Pac-10 play and remain tied for third place with Oregon State (13-7 loss at California) with a 9-7 league mark. ASU has now lost seven straight games at Sunken Diamond dating back to 1997 when they swept the Cardinal.

In addition to Guthrie's phenomenal start, a pair of two-run home runs in fifth and sixth innings from catcher Ryan Garko and shortstop Andy Topham fueled the fifth straight win for the Cardinal. Garko's shot, his team-leading 12th of the year, gave Stanford a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, while Topham's fifth of the year proved to be the game-winner breaking a 3-3 tie with a two-out, two-run shot in the sixth. ASU freshman third baseman Jeff Larish accounted for all of the Devils' scoring with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.

'We played good enough to win tonight, but you have to tip your cap to the performance (Jeremy) Guthrie and the way Stanford played tonight,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We had some chances to score an important run early, but just couldn't do it. This was a very well played college baseball game that just didn't go our way. Our team battled all of the adversity they have faced (injuries/suspensions) and they gave a great effort against one of the best teams in the nation.'

Guthrie, a candidate for National Player of the Year and a third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the MLB Draft last June, improved to 8-1 on the year and 21-5 in his Stanford career with his eight-hit, three-run outing against ASU. The junior from Ashland, Ore., struck out seven, walked one and allowed only one hit over the last three innings.

Arizona State starting pitcher Jered Liebeck gave a very commendable performance in his five-inning outing, scattering five hits and three runs before leaving with the game tied 3-3. Relief pitcher Carlos Arguello was hurt only by Topham's two-run home run, recording the loss to fall to 1-1 on the year.

After the Devils threatened with two runners in scoring position with no results in the top of the third, the Cardinal jumped out the first lead of the game with a single tally in the bottom of the inning. Reaching on a fielder's choice on the back end of a potential inning-ending double play, senior Chris O'Riordan stole second base and then scored on a single to right field from sophomore center fielder Sam Fuld.

The Cardinal added to its lead with two more two-out runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-0 lead. Fuld bounced a ball through the right side of the infield to keep the inning alive and Garko brought him home on his team-leading 12th home run of the year.

After several unsuccessful attempts to put a run on the board against Guthrie, Larish tied the game at 3-3 with one swing of the bat with a three-run home run deep over the right field fence. Sophomores Jeremy West and Rod Allen ignited the rally with a hit-by-pitch and single before Larish blasted his second home run of the year.

Not to be outdone, Stanford came right back with two more runs in their next at-bat, this time with Topham belting a two-out, two-run home run off Arguello allowing the Cardinal to retake a 5-3 lead.

Tied in the hit column with eight hits apiece, the Sun Devils were led by Larish's sixth multi-hit game of the year. No other Sun Devil recorded more than one hit in the contest. Stanford was led by the 2-for-4 game from Fuld, who notched his eighth straight multi-hit game and 14th in his last 15 games.

The Sun Devils and Cardinal, who are now tied 75-75 in the all-time series, continue the three-game conference series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond. ASU ace right-hander Mike Esposito (7-5, 3.40) will start against Stanford's John Hudgins (8-0, 4.30).

Game Notes: The Sun Devils used their 35th different starting lineup combination... ASU's three runs in the top of the sixth extended its NCAA consecutive games scoring record to 419 games dating back to April 7, 1995... senior catcher Cesar Castillo extended his hitting streak to a career-high six games... Jeremy West is now only 6-for-33 (.182) since being named Pac-10 Player of the Week (4/8)... ASU is now just 12-11 this year when hitting a home run, compared to 15-6 when not hitting a home run... after 44 games last year, ASU was 19-14-1... ASU has now given up 11 home runs in the last nine games... ASU dropped to 5-6 this year against ranked opponents and are now 0-4 against Top 10 ranked teams.

Stanford 5, Arizona State 3 (May 10, 2002 at Stanford, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 003 000  -  3  8  1      (27-17, 9-7 PAC-10)Stanford............ 001 022 00X  -  5  8  1      (34-13, 10-6 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Liebeck; Arguello(6). Stanford - Guthrie.Win-Guthrie(8-1)  Loss-Arguello(1-1)  T-2:48  A-3621HR ASU - Larish (2).HR STAN - Garko (12); Topham (5).

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