Sun Devil Bats Come Alive In Crucial 10-2 Win Over #7 Stanford

May 11, 2002

STANFORD, Calif. ( -- The 19th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team scored five two-out runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to a crucial 10-2 victory over No. 7 Stanford on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 baseball action at Sunken Diamond.

Freshman third baseman Jeff Larish and sophomore first baseman Jeremy West each had three RBI, while sophomores Mike Esposito and Ryan Schroyer combined to limit the potent Stanford bats to two runs. The ASU victory sets up the rubber match of the three-game Pac-10 series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Sunken Diamond.

The win improved the Sun Devils to 28-17 overall and into a third place tie with Stanford in the heated Pac-10 race with a 10-7 mark. Stanford had its five-game winning streak snapped and are now 34-14 overall and 10-7 in league play. ASU moved one game ahead in the all-time series, 76-75, and snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to 1997 at Sunken Diamond.

Esposito gave another brilliant performance, allowing only three this in five shutout innings. Although he walked a career-high four batters, Esposito battled throughout his start and was especially tough with runners on base to not allow a run. He has now not allowed an earned run in his last 11.0 innings. Schroyer battled control problems with four walks, but picked up his fifth save of the year with his four-inning relief appearance.

Stanford starter John Hudgins had his perfect pitching record ruined, falling to 8-1, being tagged for 11 hits and nine runs (all earned) in five and a third innings.

Larish led the Devils at the plate and continued to swing a hot bat in the series. The product of Tempe's McClintock High School was 2-for-5 with a two-run single and a RBI triple to add to his two hits in Friday's 5-3 loss to the Cardinal. For the season the freshman is now hitting .346.

West broke out of a 6-for-33 (.181) slump with three hits and three RBI. Sophomore Steve Garrabrants (2x4, 2 R), freshman Dustin Pedroia (2x4, 2 R) and sophomore Ryan McKenna (2x4, RBI, 3B) also contributed multi-hit games in the Devil's 13-hit attack.

The Sun Devils wasted little time rebounding from a tough 5-3 loss Friday, putting five runs on the board in the opening frame. Continuing a trend that has seen the Devils score over 50% of their runs with two outs, Rod Allen started the five-run, two-out rally with a double off the left field fence to score Pedroia from third base. Larish followed with a two-run single up the middle and freshman Nick Cadena capped the rally with a two-run home run deep over the left field fence.

The Devils added two more runs in the top half of the third inning to extend their lead to 7-0. Larish continued his hot hitting with a RBI triple to the right field gap and McKenna followed with a two-out single to right field to plate Larish.

ASU continued to hammer the Cardinal with two more runs in the sixth and a single tally in the eighth to bring the game to 10-1. Sophomore first baseman ended a stretch of 10 games without an extra base hit, tabbing a two-run double in the sixth. West then added a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth to cap ASU's scoring for the afternoon.

Stanford scored its first run of the game on a single by Ryan Garko in the seventh inning off Schroyer and added a run in the ninth on a single by Carlos Quentin. All-American second baseman Chris O'Riordan was 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Cardinal at the plate. The Cardinal stranded 14 runners on base in the game, second only to the 15 they left on base in a 18 inning win over Arizona (4/5).

Arizona State will send junior right-hander Robbie McClellan (7-4, 4.48 ERA) to the mound to face Stanford junior left-hander Tim Cunningham (5-2, 4.34).

Game Notes: Cadena now has three home runs in the last three games and four on the year (two off freshman school record)... the five runs in the opening frame tied a season high for runs in the first inning... ASU has now scored in the first inning of 25 of 44 of its games this year and had gone 20-5 in those games... ASU is now 6-1 in 2002 in the second game of a three-game series after dropping the opening game... Mike Esposito's four walks were a career high...

Arizona State 10, Stanford 2 (May 11, 2002 at Stanford, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 502 002 010  - 10 13  0      (28-17, 10-7 PAC-10)Stanford............ 000 000 101  -  2 10  0      (34-14, 10-7 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Esposito; Schroyer(6).Stanford - Hudgins; Ehrlich(6); Jecmen(8); Willcox(9).Win-Esposito(8-5)  Save-Schroyer(5)  Loss-Hudgins(8-1)  T-3:19  A-3086HR ASU - Cadena (4).

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