Wyrick Comes Up Clutch In Baseball's 5-2 Win Over Rival Arizona

May 23, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Senior third baseman Dennis Wyrick drilled a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie that proved to be the game-winning run as the No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devils opened a three-game Pac-10 series with rival Arizona with a 5-2 victory Friday night at Packard Stadium.

After Wyrick fouled off several pitches, the four-year letterwinner drilled the Richie Gardner offering into left field to score Jeremy West from second base. After a walk to Travis Buck to load the bases, catcher Tuffy Gosewisch plated a pair of insurance runs with a two-run single to left field. West and sophomore second baseman Frank Mesa kept the inning alive with a pair of two-out singles before Wyrick knocked in the eventual game-winning run.

The Sun Devils improved to 48-12 overall and moved one game ahead of Arizona in second place in the conference at 14-8. Arizona drops to 35-19 with the loss and 13-9 in league play. ASU has now won 10 of the last 13 against the Wildcats. Both teams will meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. for the second game of the three-game set.

'This was a great team win and just a great college baseball game,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'They played great defensively and really pitched well, but we fought hard and never gave up and played all nine innings. This was a big game for us to come out and play with confidence after enduring a tough road trip. You just can't say enough out our pitching tonight and what Dennis Wyrick did.'

Junior Ryan Schroyer nailed down the win with his team-leading eighth save of the year allowing one hit, a leadoff triple, and recorded one strikeout in a scoreless inning of work. Schroyer, who attended high school at Tucson's Canyon del Oro, notched his 16th career save to move into a tie for fourth place in ASU history with Ryan Bradley (1995-97).

Senior starting pitcher Ben Thurmond rebounded after a pair of rough starts on ASU's recent six-game, 11-day road trip to the Northwest, scattering five hits and two runs in six and a third innings. Thurmond struck out five and allowed two walks. Senior lefty Carlos Arguello inherited two runners with only one out in the top of the seventh, but retired both batters he faced, and added another scoreless inning to keep the game tied at 2-2.

Arizona starter Richie Gardner took the loss to fall to 9-2 on the year, giving up five runs and 10 hits in seven and a third innings of work. Gardner struck out five and allowed four walks while throwing 129 pitches.

The Sun Devils out-hit Arizona 11-6, getting multi-hit games from Jeff Larish (2-for-3), Buck (2-for-3) and Gosewisch (2-for-4, 2 RBI). Andre Ethier went 1-for-4 with a run-scoring triple to extend his career-high hitting streak to 15 games and West's eighth inning single also extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 games. Gosewisch extended his hitting streak to seven games (8-for-17) and also threw out a pair of base runners behind the plate. In addition to going 2-for-3, Larish drew his 70th walk of the season to become only the second player in ASU history to record 70 walks and 70 RBI in a single season (Alvin Davis, 1982).

The Wildcats jumped on the board with a single run in the top of the third. Catcher Nick Hundley led off with a double to the left field gap and came in to score on a bizarre play. First baseman Chris Frey bunted to first base to move Hundley to third base, but beat out the play. Hundley scored when Larish dropped the ball. Hundley barely slid under the tag of Gosewisch to score the game's first run. ASU threatened in the bottom half of the inning with consecutive singles from Buck and Gosewisch, but Pedroia hit into an inning-ending double play.

ASU tied the game in the fifth when Larish led off the inning with a single and then moved to third on consecutive ground outs. He scored on a two-out passed ball by Hundley.

Arizona retook the lead in its next at-bat to gain a 2-1 advantage. Frey led off with a walk, stole second base and moved to third on a ground out to shortstop. Leadoff hitter Brad Boyer plated the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to center field. ASU continued the seesaw game in the bottom of the sixth when Pedroia led off with a walk and scored on a triple to the left field gap by Ethier.

The Devils and Wildcats will continue the three-game series Saturday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. ASU is scheduled to start freshman left-hander Erik Averill (7-1, 3.82 ERA) against Arizona right-hander Sean Rierson (9-1, 4.45 ERA).

Arizona State 5, Arizona 2 (May 23, 2003 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona............. 001 001 000  -  2  6  0      (35-19, 13-9 PAC-10)Arizona State....... 000 011 03X  -  5 11  1      (48-12, 14-8 PAC-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona - Gardner; Pemble(8). Arizona State - Thurmond; Arguello(7); Schroyer(9).Win-Arguello(3-0)  Save-Schroyer(8)  Loss-Gardner(9-2)  T-2:41  A-3541

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