Devils Sweep Doubleheader

The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-3) opened up the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in convincing fashion. Following a 7-2 victory over South Alabama (0-1), Pat Murphy's squad defeated the Oklahoma (0-2) 7-5.

Against the Jaguars, junior left-handed pitcher Erik Averill threw his second consecutive complete-game to lead the Devils. Averill who was named the Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after last week's performance looked great once again, pitching all nine innings today for the Devils. He allowed only five hits while striking out eight and allowing two runs that were both scored in the ninth inning. Averill improved to 2-1 on the season.

At the plate the Devils were equally as impressive scoring seven runs on ten hits including a two-run homerun by senior first basemen Jeff Larish. The Devils scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning led by a two run double of the bat of junior right fielder Travis Buck. Larish then stepped to the plate to drive a two-run shot over the right field fence. The homerun was Larish's first of the season and 29th of his career. Both Larish and Buck finished the day with two hits and two RBI. Buck also scored two runs for the Devils. Senior third basemen Joey Hooft also recorded a multi-hit game for the Devils going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.

In the afternoon game, the Sun Devils saw the Sooners jump out in front by scoring one run in the first off Jason Urquidez. The Devils came right back and scored three in the bottom of the inning off a Jeff Larish three-run homer. Larish who earlier hit a two-run shot in game one of the doubleheader, finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored. The homerun was Larish's second of the season. The Devils went on to build up a four run lead after a two-run fifth but the lead didn't last long.

The Sooners scored four runs of their own in the top of the sixth to tie the game 5-5. Senior starter Jason Urquidez was pulled after allowing all four runs in the inning. He finished the day pitching 5.1 innings allowing five runs (four earned), on nine hits. The Devils bats answered right back as they've done so many times this year, by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning. The two-run inning began after sophomore Zechry Zinicola drew a pinch-hit walk. Two batters later freshman shortstop Andrew Romine doubled down the right-field line to put the Devils back on top. After a Sun Devil strikeout sophomore leftfielder Colin Curtis drove a two out single to right to put the Devils on top for good 7-5. Curtis finished the day going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI.

Junior right-handed pitcher Tony Barnette (1-0) picked up the win his first in a Sun Devil uniform. Barnette came in and stopped the Sooner rally in the fifth and cruised through the final 3.2 innings, allowing just one hit while striking out five of the 13 batters he faced. This was a great outing for Barnette who had struggled in his past few appearances.

Other notables were sophomore infielder Joe Persichina and freshman centerfielder J.J. Sferra, both went 2-for-4 on the day. Senior third basemen Joey Hooft continued to contribute at the plate by going 1-for-3 with two runs scored. The Devils will finish tournament play tomorrow at Surprise Stadium with a 3 p.m. match-up against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

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