Four-Run First Inning Hold Up In Baseball's 6-3 Loss To No. 29 Wichita State

March 19, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- Wichita State scored four runs in the first inning off Arizona State freshman starter Chris Beatty as the No. 29 Shockers cruised to a 6-3 upset victory over the No. 1 Arizona State Sun Devils on Wednesday night in front of 2,417 at Packard Stadium.

Third baseman Cody Clark provided the big blow in the first frame with a three-run double. Right fielder Drew Moffitt added a two-run home run in the top of the seventh. Beatty took the loss for the Sun Devils giving up four runs, three hits and two walks in his first career start.

The Sun Devils endured only their third loss of the year to fall to 31-3 in 2003. ASU has also lost to nationally ranked programs Oklahoma and Long Beach State. Wichita State had its three-game losing streak halted as they improved to 14-6.

WSU starter David Sanders paved the way for the Shocker victory allowing only one run and limited the normally potent ASU bats to a five hits. The 2002 Cape Cod League All-Star struck out one in six and two-thirds innings and induced three double plays. Senior Mike Dennison nailed down the win with 1.1 scoreless innings for his fourth save of the year.

Beatty (Kokomo, Ind.) recorded the loss in ASU's shortest start of the year (1.0 IP). Hard-throwing sophomore right-hander Mark Sopko, who was originally announced as Wednesday's starter earlier in the week, threw five scoreless innings to keep ASU in the game. Senior lefty Bryce Kartler was also stellar in his relief appearance allowing one hit and striking out four in two innings.

The Devils dug a hole early falling behind 4-0 after the Shockers' first at-bat. Beatty struggled walking two and allowing a single to load the bases. Clark followed by hitting a towering triple to the left field gap to clear the bases. Designated hitter J.R. DiMercurio capped the rally with a single to right field to score the fourth run of the inning.

After hitting into two double plays in the first three innings to squander any potential rallies, the Devils finally put a run on the board in the fourth. Travis Buck led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Pinch-hitter Frank Mesa plated Buck with a sharp ground out to second base to cut WSU's lead to 4-1. ASU put another run on the board in the eighth when Buck single to right field to score Nick Walsh.

ASU shortstop Dustin Pedroia led the Devils at the plate by going 2-for-3 to record his 22nd multi-hit game of the year. Buck was also 2-for-4 with a run scored and junior Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to five games going 2-for-3 with a triple. ASU was limited to a season-low eight hits in the loss.

The Shockers were led at the plate with two hits each from DiMercurio and second baseman Brandon Green.

The Sun Devils open Pac-10 play this weekend with a three-game series against No. 6 Stanford starting Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. The Cardinal (14-7) and Sun Devils will play the series Saturday through Monday to accommodate Stanford's final exams at the end of the quarter. The series continues Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Wichita State 6, Arizona State 3 (Mar 19, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Wichita State....... 400 000 200  -  6  8  0      (14-6)Arizona State....... 000 100 011  -  3  9  1      (31-3)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Wichita State - Sanders; Hottovy(7); Dennison(8).Arizona State - Beatty; Sopko(2); Bordes(7); Kartler(8).Win-Sanders(3-0)  Save-Dennison(4)  Loss-Beatty(0-1)  T-2:46  A-2417HR WICHITA - Moffitt (5).Game notes:ASU head coach Pat Murphy ejected in top of fourth inning.Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson ejected in bottom of eighth.

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