Sun Devil Bats Erupt For 21 Hits In 17-1 Crushing Of UCLA

April 19, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devils pounded out 21 hits and hit three home runs crushing the UCLA Bruins 17-1 Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 Baseball action at Packard Stadium. ASU salvaged the three-game series with the Bruins avenging a pair of one-run defeats in the first two games. UCLA inched out a 9-8 victory Thursday and won a 13-inning thriller 8-7 Friday.

Arizona State improved to 39-9 on the year and at 7-5 in Pac-10 play is tied for second place with the Arizona Wildcats. Both Arizona and ASU are two games back of league leader Stanford who with a 10-0 defeat of Oregon State today improved to 9-3 in conference play. UCLA drops to 19-24 on the year and is 5-7 in league play.

Senior right-handed pitcher Ben Thurmond (Hopkins, S.C.) came up with a big performance for the Sun Devils scattering five hits and one run in a season-high seven innings. Thurmond struck out seven and walked only two to improve to 4-0 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.68. Senior left-hander Bryce Kartler (Phoenix) and sophomore right-hander Mark Sopko (Joliet, Ill.) each added a scoreless inning of relief.

At the plate the Sun Devils passed the 20-hit mark for the second time in 2003 and have now recorded double-digits in hits in 26 of the 48 games this year. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) and junior designated hitter Jeremy West (Las Vegas) lead the way with four hits each. Pedroia, who returned to the leadoff spot after hitting in the No. 3 spot in the lineup the last four games, went 4-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored to raise his season average to .413. He also tabbed his league-leading 28th double of the year to pull to within two of the ASU single-season record (30; Chris Bando; 1978) and tabbed his 29th multi-hit game. West had a double and four singles to raise his average to .333.

In addition to the big games from Pedroia and West, junior right fielder Andre Ethier (Phoenix) put the finishing touches on a solid series going 2-for-6 with three RBI and hit his second home run in as many games (fourth of the season). Ethier went 8-for-17 (.471) in the three-game series with a pair of home runs. Sophomore third baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe) went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best tying nine games and blasted his fourth grand slam of the year to set an ASU single-season record. Larish, who also increased his league-leading RBI total to 72 with five in the game, passed the 26-year-old record of three grand slams hit by Dave Hudgens during the 1978 season. The home run to left-center field was his team-leading 14th of the year.

Junior Nick Walsh (Alamo, Calif.) also continued his hot hitting going 2-for-4 with two RBI and now has four multi-hit games in his last five starts. Freshman outfielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) added his third home run of the season and sophomore catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale) went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and hit his fourth double of the year.

UCLA's only run in the game came on a solo home run from leadoff hitter Preston Griffin. Starting pitcher Casey Janssen suffered the loss giving up nine hits and eight runs in two and a third innings of work.

ASU started the scoring in the first inning when Ethier hit a three-run home run over the right field fence. The Devils would go on to score a single tally in the second, four in the third and four more in each the seventh and eighth innings. Larish's grand slam came with two outs in the bottom of the eighth off Bruin freshman reliever Daniel Miltenberger. The blast was ASU's 10th grand slam this year, which is believed to be a school record and now only two off the NCAA record of 12 set by Oklahoma State in 1995.

The Sun Devils return to action next weekend with a three-game series against Washington State (12-24, 4-8 Pac-10) starting Friday at 7 p.m. The series continues Saturday at 7 p.m. and concludes Sunday with a noon start at Packard Stadium. Friday and Saturday's games will be televised live on AZ-TV with George Allen and Doug Gerlach calling all the action. UCLA returns to action Tuesday with a non-conference tilt against nationally ranked Cal State Fullerton and will take the weekend off from league play.

Arizona State 17, UCLA 1 (Apr 19, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------UCLA................ 000 001 000  -  1  5  1      (19-24, 5-7 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 314 010 44X  - 17 21  0      (39-9, 7-5 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: UCLA - Janssen; Cordeiro(3); Wilson(6); Miltenberger(8).Arizona State - Thurmond; Kartler(8); Sopko(9).Win-Thurmond(4-0)  Loss-Janssen(3-5)  T-2:46  A-2699HR UCLA - Griffin (8).HR ASU - Larish (14); Ethier (4); Buck (3).

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