No. 21 Baseball Comes From Behind For Crucial 4-3 Victory Over UCLA

April 17, 2004

LOS ANGELES ( -- Arizona State freshman Zechry Zinicola had the game-winning sacrifice fly and threw 1.1 perfect innings to earn the win on the mound, leading the No. 21 Sun Devils to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the UCLA Bruins Saturday afternoon in Pac-10 Baseball action at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The win clinches ASU's first Pac-10 series victory of the year and improves their league mark to within on game of .500 at 5-6. With their third straight win, the Sun Devils improved to 26-11 overall. UCLA fell to 19-16 overall and 3-5 in Pac-10 play.

'It was a great win for our club to really fight all nine innings and come out with a big victory,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We had some really big performances and had some freshman step up. Zinicola was great at the end and Walsh really provided the big hit in the seventh. We didn't' give up and have a big game to come back and play tomorrow!'

Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) completed a day in which several Sun Devils came up with big-time performances. The freshman struck out two in 1.1 perfect innings to improve to 3-1 on the season. Entering the lineup as the designated hitter with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the ninth, Zinicola drove a 3-2 fastball to center field for the sacrifice fly to score Colin Curtis for the game-winning run.

Zinicola combined with sophomore lefty Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) to retire the last 15 batters in a row. Averill was flawless out of relief of starter Jason Urquidez (4.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 K), throwing 3.2 perfect innings.

The Devils trailed 3-0 heading into the seventh inning with UCLA senior starter Casey Janssen in cruise control. Singles by Joe Persichina and Jeff Larish put runners on first and third with one out when Josh Asanovich plated ASU's first run with a sacrifice fly to right field. After a single by Curtis and a walk to leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia, senior Nick Walsh (Alamo, Calif.) drilled a first-pitch fastball into the right field corner to tie the game at 3-3.

The Bruins broke the scoreless game open with a three-run fourth inning. All-American Wes Whisler led off with a triple off the center field fence and came into score on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Brandon McCarthy. Sophomore first baseman Brett McMillan followed with a towering solo home run to right field and catcher Chris Denove delivered a two-out single to score Brandon Averill to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Sun Devils played flawless defense for the second straight game and the 12th time this season. Contributing to the effort of not allowing free bases, Urquidez, Averill and Zinicola combined to not walk a batter in the contest.

Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) led the Devils going 3-for-5 with a run scored to raise his season batting average to .337 (32-for-95). Curtis (2-for-4, 2 R) and junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (2-for-3) added multi-hit games as the Sun Devils out-hit the Bruins 10-8. Gosewisch extended his hitting streak to six games and Walsh has now recorded a hit in five straight.

Janssen (6-2) scattered six hits and gave up three runs in 6.2 innings to record the no-decision. Freshman reliever Brant Rustich was saddled with the loss giving up a pair of hits and one run in 0.1 innings.

UCLA left fielder Brandon Averill, older brother of Erik, led UCLA going 2-for-3 with a run scored. McMillan finished 1-for-4 while hitting his fourth home run of the year.

The Sun Devils will go for the sweep in the third and final game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Sophomore left-hander Brett Bordes (2-0, 6.75 ERA) will make his first start in two weeks for the Sun Devils against UCLA left-hander Wes Whisler (1-3, 5.61 ERA).

Arizona State 4, UCLA 3 (Apr 17, 2004 at Los Angeles, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 000 000 301  -  4 10  0      (26-11, 5-6 Pac-10)UCLA................ 000 300 000  -  3  8  2      (19-16, 3-5 Pac-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Urquidez; Averill(5); Zinicola(8).UCLA - Janssen; Schroeder(7); Rustich(8); Reid(9); Wilson(9).Win-Zinicola(3-1)  Loss-Rustich(3-1)  T-3:07  A-568HR UCLA - McMillan (4).

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