No. 5 Sun Devil Hit Three Home Runs In 9-4 Win Over Oregon State

Feb. 16, 2003

SURPRISE, Ariz. - Shortstop Dustin Pedroia was3-for-4 with a solo home run as the No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devil Baseballwon its eighth straight game with a 9-4 victory over Oregon State in thefinal game of the inaugural Coca-Cola Spring Training College BaseballClassic at Surprise Stadium. The final of the six games drew 1,303 in themagnificent new spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas CityRoyals.

In addition to Pedroia's second home run of the year, second baseman SteveGarrabrants and Rod Allen also homered as the Sun Devils improved to 17-1on the year, marking their best start to a season since also going 17-1back in 1988. Oregon State had an impressive tournament beating Gonzaga andOklahoma State, but couldn't handle the Sun Devils in falling to 3-3 on theseason. The two teams will meet again this year for a three-game Pac-10series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis (May 12-14).

After both teams exchanged runs, the Devils exploded for another big inningwith four runs in the bottom of the third. Pedroia fueled the rally with aone-out double down the left field line and came into score on a single toright field by Andre Ethier. Garrabrants plated three of the runs with atowering home run that hit the left field foul pole.

Senior starting pitcher Jered Liebeck improved to 3-0 with a steadyfive-inning performance. The Glendale native scattered six hits and allowedthree runs. Five ASU relievers combined to give up one run over the finalfour innings, with redshirt freshman Matt Leaf and senior lefty CarlosArguello each throwing a scores inning.

Oregon State starter Stephen Copeland had a tough task at hand after Beaverpitching staff had allowed only one earned run in the 18 previous inningsof the tournament. Copeland took the loss to fall to 0-1 after giving upthree this and three runs in two and two-thirds innings. Sophomore transferJon Koller, who was a freshman All-American at UC Irvine last year, wasrocked for six hits and six runs in two and a third innings. Closer JaredSanders, OSU's all-time saves leader, cleaned up the messy Beaver pitchingperformance with a perfect eighth inning.

Pedroia finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and fell just atriple short of hitting for the elusive cycle. Out-hitting OSU 10-9, juniorright fielder Andre Ethier was the only other Sun Devil to record two ormore hits going 2-for-4 with one RBI. Pedroia, Garrabrants, Allen andFriday's winning pitcher Mark Sopko, were all named to the all-tournamentteam for their outstanding performances over the three games.

Arizona State (17-1) returns to action tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. gameagainst Gonzaga at Packard Stadium. Freshman left-hander Erik Averill (3-0)will start on the mound against Gonzaga's Sean Lichter (Glendale, Ariz.).ASU beat Gonzaga 8-4 Friday night at Surprise Stadium.

Game Notes: ASU scored in the first inning to extend its NCAA recordconsecutive games scoring streak to 451 games... Freshman center fielder RyanBosch made a diving catch with his back to home plate in the top of thethird inning... freshman Travis Buck did not start for the first time thisyear due to a bruised heel he suffered in Saturday's 7-3 win over OklahomaState... Garrabrants' three-run homer in the third was his third of the yearand fifth of his career... ASU has now recorded at least one home run in 13of its 18 games this year and has 24 overall for the season... Pedroia has atleast one hit in 17 of ASU's games this year and is hitting .395 overallwith nine doubles, one triple and one home run... ASU played all three of itsgames at Surprise Stadium under three hours.

Arizona State 9, Oregon State 4 (Feb 16, 2003 at Surprise, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Oregon State........ 001 101 100  -  4  9  1      (3-3)Arizona State....... 104 040 00X  -  9 10  0      (17-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Oregon State - Copeland; Koller(3); Baldwin(6); Sanders(8).Arizona State - Liebeck; Kartler(6); Lopez, J.(6); McClellan(7); Leaf(8);Arguello(9).Win-Liebeck(3-0)  Loss-Copeland(0-1)  T-2:58  A-1303HR ASU - Pedroia (2); Garrabrants (3); Allen (2).
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