No. 5 Baseball Drops Series Opener To No. 11 Tulane 5-3

March 12, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- Arizona State had a pair of costly errors and squandered some early scoring opportunities as the No. 11 Tulane Green Wave held off the No. 5 Sun Devils 5-3 in a non-conference victory Friday night at Packard Stadium.

The Sun Devils had their season-high nine-game win streak come to an end to drop to 15-3 on the year. Additionally, ASU had a 19-game win streak at Packard Stadium snapped and lost for the first time in nine games to a ranked opponent this season. Tulane won its fourth straight to improve to 12-3 on the year.

Tulane starting pitcher Billy Mohl limited the Sun Devils to two hits in six innings to improve to 4-0 on the season. The sophomore right-hander walked a season-high six batters, but pitched well with runners in scoring position to pick up the victory. Freshman Daniel Latham tamed the Devils down the stretch allowing two hits in three innings to pick up his second save of the year.

ASU starter Jeff Mousser (1-1) was the victim of some costly fielding miscues to record his first loss as a Sun Devil. The senior right-hander was gave up nine hits and five runs (three earned) in four and one-third inning. Sophomore left-hander Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) was brilliant out of the bullpen, retiring all 13 of the Tulane batters he faced. Averill struck out four in four and two-thirds perfect innings of work.

Limited to only four hits, the Devils couldn't produce a timely hit by leaving seven of nine runners on base in scoring position. Sophomore Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to extend his hitting streak to seven games. His ninth-inning home run was his fifth in as many games and team-leading sixth of the season. Junior Joel Bocchi (Phoenix) and senior second baseman Nick Walsh (Alamo, Calif.) also had infield singles in the loss.

The Green Wave took the early lead with a pair of runs in the first inning. Right fielder Brian Bogusevic plated a run on a fielding error by Walsh to start the scoring. Wes Swackhamer's two-out single extended Tulane's lead to 2-0.

The Devils had their opportunities to pull even, leaving seven men on base and five in scoring position in their first five at-bats, but couldn't push a run across the plate. The Green Wave took advantage of ASU's missed opportunities to extend their lead to 5-0 with three runs in the top of the fifth. A double from catcher Brian Bormaster started a string four consecutive hits with a run-scoring double. A one-out fielding error by ASU shortstop Dustin Pedroia proved costly as the Green Wave rallied after the miscue.

The Devils finally cracked the scoreboard with a single tally in the seventh. A pair of walks and a single by Travis Buck led to a run-scoring groundout by junior All-American Jeff Larish. Junior designated hitter Ryan McKenna ground out with a pair of runners in scoring position to end inning.

ASU scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out, two-run homer from Buck. After Larish reached on fielding error, Latham retired pinch-hitter on three straight strikes to end the game.

Tulane out-hit the Sun Devils 9-4 and was led at the plate by the two hits from Bogusevic, center fielder Matt Barket and left fielder Wes Swackhamer.

The Sun Devils and Green Wave will continue the three-game non-conference series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Tulane left-hander J.R. Crowell (3-0, 1.82 ERA) will take the mound against Sun Devil ace Jason Urquidez (5-0, 1.80 ERA).

Game Notes: Sophomore Travis Buck walked in the first inning and while hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup (16 games) has reached base in his first at-bat 15 of 16 times... Buck extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single in the seventh and homered for the fifth straight game in the ninth... the last time a Sun Devil homered in five straight games was Mitch Jones during his record-breaking 2000 season... Tulane starter Billy Mohl retired the leadoff hitter in each of the first five innings before issuing a walk to Colin Curtis to lead off the sixth... Jeff Larish had his eight-game streak snapped by going 0-for-4... Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-3 with two walks and is in the midst of an 0-for-10 slump at the plate... ASU last lost at Packard Stadium on Apr. 18, 2003 to UCLA (19-game streak)... the game was only the second meeting between the two schools, with the last one being in 1974 in Riverside, Calif. (9-2 ASU victory).

Tulane 5, Arizona State 3 (Mar 12, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Tulane.............. 200 030 000  -  5  9  2      (12-3)Arizona State....... 000 000 102  -  3  4  2      (15-3)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Tulane - Mohl; Latham(7). Arizona State - Mousser; Averill(5).Win-Mohl(4-0)  Save-Latham(2)  Loss-Mousser(1-1)  T-2:52  A-2827HR ASU - Buck (6).

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