Devils Continue Hot Streak With 14-8 Win Over No. 11 Notre Dame
Feb. 23, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The No. 4 Arizona State Baseballteam used a nine-run sixth inning to erase an 8-4 Notre Dame lead and givethe Sun Devils a 14-8 come-from-behind victory over the No. 11 Irish Sundayafternoon in front of 3,403 at Packard Stadium.
Arizona State continued its amazing hot streak winning its 12th straightgame to improve to 21-1 on the year and 4-1 against ranked opponents. Thewin also gave ASU's ninth-year head coach Pat Murphy his 700th careervictory over the school he spent seven years coaching. The 21-1 start isnow just two wins off ASU's best start in school history when the 1972edition of Sun Devil baseball started the year 23-1 and ended at 64-6.Notre Dame fell to 2-2 on the year in its season-opening series.
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) led the ASU offensewith a career-high tying four hits and scored two runs to raise his seasonbatting average to .419 (39x93). Pedroia now has 14 multi-hit games thisyear and has at least one hit in 21 of ASU's 22 games this year. SophomoreJeff Larish also continued his torrid season at the plate with a 2-for-3performance, including two doubles and four RBI. For the season Larish hasa team-high 42 RBI and 32 walks. Junior designated hitter Jeremy West addeda two-run home run for his seventh homer of the year and his third in thelast two games.
Senior starting pitcher Ben Thurmond (Hopkins, S.C.) was brilliant in hissecond start of the year allowing only one run and four hits in aseason-high five innings. After leaving with a 4-1 lead due to apitch-count, relievers Mark Sopko, Chris Beatty and Javy Lopez gave up sixruns and six hits in the seventh. Lopez (1-0) picked up the win benefitingfrom the nine-run outburst and junior closer Ryan Schroyer sealed the winto pick up his fourth save with three scoreless innings.
After the ASU bullpen surrendered a 4-1 lead as part of a seven-run NotreDame sixth inning, ASU battled right back with the nine-run sixth to takethe lead for good. All nine of ASU's runs came with two outs after Larishdrew a two out, full-count walk. West followed with a two-run homer tocenter field and then catcher Tuffy Gosewisch tied the game with a two-run,bad-hop single. The floodgates opened when shortstop Matt Macri, who isranked as the No. 40 college prospect by Baseball America for the 2003draft, booted a hard-hit ball by Ryan Bosch. One run scored on the error,then Larish provided another big blow with a three-run double to the leftfield gap to cap the nine-run frame.
Arizona State built its early lead with a four-run first inning. AndreEthier plated three runs with a bases loaded double down the left fieldline and later scored on a an error by Macri. ASU had more opportunities toscore and increase the lead, but the Devils stranded the bases loaded inthe second and fourth innings. Notre Dame cut ASU's lead to three runs witha solo home run in the second by freshman Cody Rizzo.
With Thurmond departed due to a pitch count, the Irish battled back with abig seven-run inning to take the lead off the ASU bullpen in the top of thesixth. After a single from Kris Billmaier scored Steve Sollmann (leadoffdouble), catcher Javi Sanchez tied the game with a two-run double to theleft field gap. Rizzo single to center field on a hit-and-run play thatscored Sanchez to give the Fighting Irish their first lead of the game at5-4. Macri capped the seven-run rally with a two-run home run to left field.
Notre Dame senior closer J.P. Gagne suffered the loss giving up all nine(four earned) runs in the sixth to fall to 0-1 on the year. Despite makingtwo errors Sunday and four in the two-game series, Macri did have two hitsat the plate, including a two-run home run. Billmaier, Sanchez, and Rizzoalso added two hits for the Irish.
Arizona State returns to action next weekend with a three-game seriesagainst Penn State (Feb. 28-Mar. 2) at Packard Stadium. Game times are 7p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. The Friday andSunday games will be broadcast live on the radio on NBC 1190 AM.
Game Notes: The nine-run sixth inning tied ASU's highest inning run outputas they also scored nine in the fourth inning vs. Hawaii-Hilo (Jan. 19)...the seven-run sixth inning given up by ASU is tied for the most given up ina single frame this year with SDSU also tallying seven in the sixth inningon Jan. 26... before Ethier's three-run double in the first inning he wasjust 1-for-8 (.125) in 2003 with the bases loaded... ASU's four-run firstinning marked the 12th time they have scored in the first inning this year...ASU has now score in 455 consecutive games to increase its NCAA record thatthey set with game No. 350 back on April 7, 2001... Pedroia has now recordedat least one hit in 21 of ASU's 22 games this year and dating back the endof last season has a hit in 32 of 33 games... he also notched his 14thmulti-hit game of the year... West's sixth-inning homer was his seventh ofthe season and the third in the last two games... he now has 26 career home runs.
Arizona State 14, Notre Dame 8 (Feb 23, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Notre Dame.......... 010 007 000 - 8 13 3 (2-2)Arizona State....... 400 009 01X - 14 13 1 (21-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Notre Dame - Kalita; Viloria(4); Gagne(6); Thornton(6).Arizona State - Thurmond; Sopko(6); Beatty(6); Lopez, J.(6); Schroyer(7).Win-Lopez, J.(1-0) Save-Schroyer(4) Loss-Gagne(0-1) T-3:24 A-3403HR UND - Macri (1); Rizzo (1).HR ASU - West (7).