Sun Devils Edge Bruins for Series Sweep

The Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team was able to pull-off their second straight series sweep with a nail biting 10-8 victory. The win was the sixth straight for the Devils and improved their record to 28-15 on the year. The win also helped the Devils move into second place in the Pac-10 with a record of 9-3. The sweep was also the fourth straight at Packard Stadium (Wright State, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA).

Early on, the Devils looked as if they were going to pound the Bruins as they did the previous two games, after taking an early 4-0 lead after two innings of play. But the Bruins didn't let the early lead get them down, as they were able to score one run in the top of the fourth inning, followed by five more in the sixth off Sun Devil starter Pat Bresnehan. Bresnehan had been cruising along allowing just one run over the first five innings but fell apart with two outs in the sixth allowing the five runs on five hits, which gave the Bruins a 6-5 lead.

The Bruin lead didn't last long thanks to senior preseason All-American Jeff Larish. In the bottom of the sixth, junior Travis Buck was able to draw a one-out walk before Larish stepped to the plate and crushed his Pac-10 leading 15th homerun of the year. The Devils went on to score three more in the seventh to take what seemed like a comfortable 10-6 lead heading into the final two innings. But the struggling Bruins showed some fight in the top of the ninth thanks to the erratic pitching of Sun Devil reliever Zechry Zinicola. Zinicola had been pitching well after taking over for Bresnehan in the sixth, but couldn't seem to find his control in the ninth as he walked four batters and hit one with a pitch. The walks led to two Bruin runs and let them cut the lead to just two runs with the bases loaded and two outs. Sun Devil Coach Pat Murphy decided to go to the bullpen to try to get out of the jam and called out junior Tony Barnette. Barnette came in and threw three straight strikes to get Bruin shortstop Tommy Lansdon swinging to pick up his second save of the year. Zinicola picked up the win for the Devils and improved his record to 3-2 on the year.

Offensively the Devils recorded 16 hits in the game and were led by the blazing hot Travis Buck who finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Buck has been on a tear as of late recording his seventh straight multi-hit game and finished the UCLA series hitting .714 (10-14) including five runs three RBI and five stolen bases. Five Devils including Buck finished the game with more than one hit the others were first baseman Jeff Larish (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), outfielder Colin Curtis (2-for-5, R, RBI), second baseman Seth Dhaenens (2-for-4, R, 2 SB) and centerfielder J.J. Sferra (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI, SB). Dhaenens also extended his hitting streak to 12 games and leads the team with a .395 batting average. Sferra finished the series 9-for-15 and has raised his overall average to .325 on the season.

In the three game series the Devils tallied 38 runs on 51 hits and look to continue that success at the plate next weekend has they travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers. Friday's game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.

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