ASU Baseball Weekend Recap

The ASU baseball team started off the 2002 campaign by sweeping their way through the inaugural Bill Kajikawa Classic by beating Pac-10 foe Oregon State, Oral Roberts, and Southern Utah twice. Coach Pat Murphy kept a common theme throughout the 4 games by starting the same 9 hitters each game. This was a good showing for the Devils to open the season.

The Devils opponents showed up, but besides the Oral Roberts game, didn't give the Devils a challenge. The Devils started off the season on Thursday against Oregon State and put on an offensive show by scoring 13 runs, all scored in the first 3 innings. Pre-Season All-American Mike Esposito did not disappoint anyone while he lead the way with 5 innings pitched giving up just 4 runs and 6 hits while earning the win. J.J. Jackson and Mark Sopko came in relief and gave up just 1 hit and 1 run combined. OSU scored the games first run, but after the Devils put 2 runs up in the bottom half of the 1st, they never looked back. Sophomore Steve Garrabrants went 3 for 3 in the game while scoring 3 runs. Sophomore Andre Ethier started his Sun Devil career off on a positive note going 3 for 4 with 4 RBI‘s and 2 runs scored. The 3 and 4 hitters, Rod Allen and Jeremy West each went 2 for 4 each scoring 2 runs.

The Sun Devils came out on top with a 12-0 over Southern Utah in the Friday game. ASU improved to 2-0 after handling the Thunderbirds an easy defeat. Sophomore Ryan Schroyer proved why he is the #2 started behind Mike Esposito by pitching 6 2/3 innings, striking out 11 and giving up just 3 hits. Josh Perrault, Aaron Klusman, and Josh Smith came in to pitch 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. The star of this game was Jeremy West. The first baseman hit the team's first homerun of the year over the leftfield wall, while going 3 for 3 with 4 RBI's and 4 runs scored. The Devils put the game out of reach in the 6th inning by scoring 6 runs and going up 12-0, which was the final score.

ASU had a tougher test on Saturday by playing an Oral Roberts team that gave the Devils more of a challenge. The Devils won 6-5 behind Rod Allen's first homerun of the year. The sophomore left fielder got the homerun in the 8th inning, which ended up being the game-winning run. Bryce Kartler had a decent outing, pitching 5 innings while giving up 4 runs and 4 hits. Steve Garrabrants had the first run of the game, scoring when Rod Allen hit into a double play. Jon Sheaffer got a double in the 3rd inning and was driven in by 2b Dustin Pedroia. Andre Ethier and Ian Kinsler both were the sparks of the 4th inning, each scoring a run.

The Devils came out on Sunday with a win over Southern Utah 6-2. Freshman Miguel Sanchez got the nod to start in the 4th game of the weekend. He pitched 5 1/3 innings while giving up 2 runs and 5 hits. Designated hitter Steve Garrabrants had the teams only multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with 3 runs. Doug Schutt, who was pinch hitting for Jon Sheaffer, led off the 7th hitting with a triple to center field. He would later score on a wild pitch.

ASU will host the #25 ranked Tennessee Volunteers next weekend at HoHoKam Park, which will be a better test to see where this young team stands. The Volunteers played in the College World Series last year and this past weekend dropped 2 out of 3 to the #2 ranked Miami Hurricanes.

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