Liebeck Fires Complete-Game Three-Hit Shutout To Lead Baseball To 3-0 Win

Feb. 1, 2003

LONG BEACH, Calif. ( -- Senior starting pitcher Jered Liebeck threw a complete-game three-hit shutout over the No. 13 Long Beach State 49ers to lead the eighth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils to a 3-0 victory Saturday afternoon at Blair Field.

The Sun Devils bounced back from Friday's 11-5 loss to set up the rubber match of the three-game non-conference baseball series. ASU improved to 10-1 on the season and now own a 27-4 all-time lead in the series with LBSU. For ASU, who has not been shutout offensively in an NCAA record 444 consecutive games, it marked the second shutout of the year by the pitching staff and the first complete-game shutout since Drew Friedberg fired a one-hitter at Hawaii-Hilo in 1999.

Liebeck, a senior from Glendale, Ariz., who earned Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors last year, did not allow a hit past the fifth inning. After he issued a leadoff walk in the ninth inning he had retired nine straight batters. After the walk, Liebeck got Steve Velazco to fly out to right field and then coaxed leadoff hitter Travis Udvarhelyi to ground into a game-ending double play. Liebeck faced the minimum amount of batters in the game (27) and had only one runner reach second base. He had only 88 pitches in his first career complete game. In his three starts in 2003, he is now 2-0 with 1.35 ERA in 20.0 IP.

'That was just a gutsy team effort to battle back from last nights tough loss and an unbelievable pitching performance by Jered (Liebeck),' said ASU's ninth-year head coach Pat Murphy. 'You don't see many 88-pitch complete-game shutouts in college baseball. He pitched strikes and we played great defense around him.'

LBSU sophomore pitcher Jered Weaver was saddled with the tough-luck loss, giving up only three hits in and one run in five and a third innings of work. The brother of current New York Yankee pitcher Jeff Weaver, the third-team preseason All-American struck out four and walked one while falling to 0-1 on the season.

The Devils got on the board first with a single tally in the top of the fourth. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia led off the inning with his eighth double of the year and came around to score on single by RBI-machine Jeff Larish. ASU threatened for more, but freshman Ryan Bosch grounded into a hard-hit double play to end the inning.

With Weaver out of the game, ASU tacked on another run in the seventh to take a 2-0 lead. Back-to-back singles from Larish and Bosch enabled a one-out groundball from Rodney Allen to bring home the Devils' second run of the game. ASU added a third insurance run in the top of the ninth inning when catcher Joel Bocchi hustled out a bases loaded infield single.

The Devils were led offensively by the 2-for-3 game from Larish. Bocchi also had two hits for his third-multi-hit game of the year. Udvarhelyi, shorstop Tim Hutting and designated hitter John Bowker recorded the only hits for the Dirtbags.

ASU and LBSU will meet in the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Blair Field. Freshman lefty Erik Averill (2-0, 0.00 ERA) will start on the mound for the Devils. LBSU has not announced a starting pitcher for the series finale.

Game Notes: Pedroia's double to lead off the fourth inning broke up Weaver's no-hit bid and extended his hitting streak to 22 games dating back to the end of 2002... left-handed pitchers Bryce Kartler and Erik Averill brought the lineup card to home plate for the Devils... a moment of silence was observed before the start of the game and the American flag at Blair Field stood at half mass in honor of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy Saturday morning... ASU extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 444 games with the run in the fourth inning.

Arizona State 3, Long Beach State 0 (Feb 01, 2003 at Long Beach, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 100 101  -  3  7  0      (10-1)Long Beach State.... 000 000 000  -  0  3  1      (1-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Liebeck. Long Beach State - Weaver; Shoemaker(6); Ashabraner(9).Win-Liebeck(2-0)  Loss-Weaver(0-1)  T-2:46  A-976

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