No. 14 Baseball Wins Fourth Straight Behind Four Double Plays

May 4, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils turned a season-high four double plays and benefited from a four-run second inning to gain a 6-2 victory over New Mexico State Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Packard Stadium.

ASU won its fourth straight and head into the final exam break winners of nine of the last 11 to improve to 32-13 overall. New Mexico State fell to 2-28 all-time against the Sun Devils and are 30-17-1 on the season. ASU won the series opener Monday by a dominating score of 19-2. NMSU and ASU will meet again on May 19 (6 p.m.) at Presley Askew Field in Las Cruces, N.M.

ASU senior starting pitcher Jeff Mousser (Tempe) won his fourth straight decision with four shutout innings. In a predetermined start of 60-70 pitches, Mousser scattered five hits and struck out one to improve to 5-3 on the season. The freshman trio of Pat Cassa, Quentin Andes and Zechry Zinicola combined for 3.2 scoreless innings to seal the victory.

New Mexico State freshman starter Zach Cobb pitched well despite giving up seven hits and six runs in five innings to suffer the loss to fall to 1-1 on the year. J.T. Severe finished the game for the Aggies with three hitless frames.

The Sun Devils were out-hit 11-7 in the game, benefiting greatly from the season-high four double plays. Junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch provided the big blow with a two-run double in the four-run second inning to put the Devils ahead for good. Junior All-American outfielder Jeff Larish went 1-for-3 with a walk to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.

ASU jumped out to the early lead with a four-run second inning. Three singles Zechry Zinicola, Josh Asanovich and Colin Curtis loaded the bases to start the inning. Gosewisch then drove home a pair with a double to the left field gap to put the Devils on the board. After Nick Walsh plated a run on a sacrifice bunt, freshman Joe Persichina drilled a single to center field to cap the four-run frame.

NMSU hit into a pair of double plays to end any early-inning scoring threats and finally put a run on the board with a two-out solo home run from second baseman Xardiel Cotto.

The Devils extended their lead to 6-1 adding two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Zinicola and Asanovich drove home runs with sacrifice flies.

The Aggies had another scoring opportunity squelched in the sixth when Cassa came into to get a strikeout and a double play after inheriting a pair of runners with no outs. Cotto added another run in the seventh with a RBI single to pull NMSU to within four runs at 6-2, but Andes, an Albuquerque native, followed Cassa's lead striking out All-American Billy Becher and right fielder Mark Aranda to end the threat.

Cotto led NMSU's 11-hit attack going 2-for-2 with both RBI. Catcher Mark Keller and third baseman Adrian Ballesteros were each 2-for-4.

The Sun Devils will take the next week off to prepare for final exams before returning to Pac-10 play for a crucial three-game series against Oregon State (Mar. 14-15) at Packard Stadium. Following the three-game series against the Beavers to conclude the home portion of the regular season, ASU will take to the road for the final eight games of the season.

Arizona State 6, New Mexico State 2 (May 04, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------New Mexico State.... 000 010 100  -  2 11  1      (30-17-1)Arizona State....... 040 020 00X  -  6  7  1      (32-13)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: New Mexico State - Cobb; Severe(6).Arizona State - Mousser; Bresnehan(5); Cassa(6); Averill(7); Andes(7); Zinicola(9).Win-Mousser(5-3)  Loss-Cobb(1-1)  T-2:38  A-2177HR NMSU - Cotto (9).

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