Devil's Drop 2 of 3 To Titans

The 8th ranked ASU (8-5) baseball team took on 10th ranked Cal State Fullerton (8-4) this past weekend at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. The Devils continued their struggles against some of the nation's elite teams by dropping 2 out of the 3 to the Titans.

1 key play turned the game around in the 9th inning when C Dennis Wyrick dropped a throw from 3B Dustin Pedroia as the Cal State Fullerton Titans took a 3-1 lead and would end up winning the game 3-2. A dominant performance by Titan pitcher Wes Littleton (3-1) did not help ASU's cause either as he gave up a mere 4 hits and 1 run in a solid 7 innings pitched. Even though Littleton was a wild pitcher, hitting 2 Devils, he was still able to pull out the win. Sun Devil pitcher Mike Esposito (2-2) gave him what appeared was going to be a classic pitcher's duel as the game was tied up through 6 innings until the Titans scored 2 innings in their half of the 7th inning. Esposito lasted 6 innings, giving up 3 runs and 5 hits.

ASU was only able to scatter 5 hits through out the game. In the 4th inning, the Devis were aided by the Titan's pitcher Wes Littleton's lack of control as he hit 2B Steve Garrabrants. He would later score on a fielding error by Cal State Fullerton 3B Richie Burgos. 1B Jeremy West lead off the 9th inning with a towering homerun over the left field fence.

The move by coach Pat Murphy to move Dennis Wyrick to catcher for third base paid off today as Wyrick as he went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. But more importantly, he threw out 2 of 3 Titans trying to steal. Before today, the Devil's catchers had thrown out 1 runner in 16 attempts. Fullerton starter Darric Merrell (2-1) lasted just 2 1/3 inning, giving up 5 runs to a Sun Devil team who had not had a lot of offensive production that last few games. Sun Devil Ryan Schroyer pitched 4 innings, giving up just 1 run. However, he did not get the win as reliever J.J. Jackson (1-0) recorded his first win of the year by lasting 3 1/3 innings.

The Devil's bats came alive today in the 9-4 win as RF Andre Ethier, LF Rod Allen, and C Dennis Wyrick all had multi hit games. In the bottom of the 2nd West, Wyrick, and SS Ian Kinsler would all score. In the Devil half of the 3rd, Ethier would score off a 3B Dustin Pedroia double to center field. Wyrick would get his 2nd run scored of the game off of a CF Jon Sheaffer groundout to second base. In the 4th inning, after Rod Allen was hit by a pitch, he would score off of a Jeremy West single to center field. In the 5th inning Pedroia would score off of a Titan error. DH Doug Schutt and Sheaffer would also score after Rod Allen single to center field.

After ASU lead the game 5-2, Fullerton would score 5 unanswered runs to win the game 7-5 and complete the series win. Devil Bryce Kartler gave up 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Titan pitcher Jordan DeJong gave up 5 runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 1st, 2B Steve Garrabrants lead off the inning with a double and would score when Jeremy West would reach base off a throwing error by Titan 3B David Munoz. West would eventually score when Andre Ethier hit a single to center field. The Devils would score 2 runs in the 2nd inning when Dustin Pedroia scored off an Ian Kinsler fly out to centerfield. Jon Sheaffer would also record a run off a balk that was called. In the 5th inning, Jeremy West would record his 3rd homerun of the year and 2nd of the series when he one over the left field fence.

The Devils face Loyola Marymount next weekend at HoHoKam Park. The Lions (4-8) played the Texas Longhorns this past weekend and were swept. On February 19th, they lost to Cal State Fullerton 7-6.

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