No. 1 Seed Devils Upset 15-5 By No. 4 Pepperdine

June 4, 2004

FULLERTON, Calif. ( -- Pepperdine broke a 3-3 tie with a five-run seventh inning en route to a stunning 15-5 defeat of No. 7 national seed Arizona State Friday afternoon in NCAA Tournament play at Goodwin Field in the Fullerton Regional.

The Waves and Sun Devils were tied at 3-3 heading into the seventh inning before Pepperdine exploded for five runs. They also added three runs in the top of the eighth inning and four runs in the ninth put the game out of reach.

Arizona State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992 in a 5-1 loss to Cal State Northridge in Wichita, Kan. The 15 runs given up also marked the fourth most surrendered in 182 postseason games in ASU history and the 10-run defeat is the worst in postseason history.

Arizona State drops to 40-17 overall with its fourth loss in the last five games. Pepperdine won its fifth straight game after capturing the West Coast Conference crown last week to improve to 29-30 on the year.

The Sun Devils will play the University of Minnesota at 11 a.m. and will have to battle through the losers bracket with four straight games if they wish to keep the season alive and advance to a Super Regional next weekend. The No. 3 seed Golden Gophers lost 7-1 Friday night to No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton. CSF and Pepperdine will meet in the winners bracket game at 3 p.m. The winner of the ASU/Minnesota game will play the loser of the Pepperdine/CSF game at 7 p.m.

'The way I look it at now, is that we have 36 innings ahead of us to keep the season alive,' said 10th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'I've said it all year and I'll say it again, I believe in the spirit of this team. We have our backs against the wall and it isn't going to be easy, but I believe.'

The Waves sent nine batters to the plate in the decisive seventh inning to break the 3-3 tie. Catcher Chad Tracy plated the go-ahead run with a one-out single to center field. After another single by center fielder Cory Brightwell, ASU went to freshman closer Zechry Zinicola. Zinicola appeared to get Patrick Rooney to ground into an inning-ending double play, but All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia threw widely to second base for only his 10th error of the season. The momentum-changing error scored two runs and was followed by a two-run double down the left field line by Nick Kliebert to extend the lead to 8-3.

Pepperdine also added three runs in the eighth on a bases loaded double by Rooney and scored four more in the ninth behind a three-run home run from Tracy.

After both teams exchanged runs in the first inning, the Devils took a 3-1 lead after a two-run second inning. Designated hitter Nick Cadena led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a single to left field by second baseman Nick Walsh. Travis Buck singled in Walsh to extend the lead to 3-1 with a single to right field to score Walsh.

Buck led ASU at the plate going 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Pedroia also had two hits for his 29th multi-hit game of the season. Jeff Larish (2-for-5) and Tuffy Gosewisch (2-for-3, 2 RBI) also tabbed two hits as the Devils still managed 14 hits in the loss.

'We flat out got beat and did not play good baseball,' said Pedroia. 'We are an offensive team and we get 14 hits, but can only score five runs. We are better than that and I am kind of shocked.'

Tracy, the son of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Jim Tracy, went 2-for-5 with four runs scored and five RBI to pace the Pepperdine offense. Every starter recorded at least one hit in the contest, with the top five hitters all recording multi-hit games. Rooney finished 2-for-6 with two runs and four RBI.

Arizona State relief pitcher Erik Averill was credited with the loss giving up four runs (two earned) in two innings. Senior starter Jeff Mousser gave up five hits and three runs in 4.1 inning.

Pepperdine starter Kea Kometani scattered 14 hits in eight innings to pick up the win and improve to 8-6 on the year.

Pepperdine 15, Arizona State 5 (Jun 04, 2004 at Fullerton, Calif.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pepperdine.......... 100 200 534  - 15 16  0      (29-30)Arizona State....... 120 000 110  -  5 14  4      (40-17)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Pepperdine - K. Kometani; J. Johnson(9).Arizona State - Mousser; Averill(5); Zinicola(7); Marotz(8); Blake(8).Win-K. Kometani(8-6)  Loss-Averill(4-3)  T-3:17  A-1457HR PEP - C. Tracy (12).

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