Baseball Weekend Recap

Many called the Oklahoma series the first true test for the sizzling Sun Devils who entered this weekend with a 28-1 record, including a 19 game win streak. While it wasn't a sweep, coach Murphy's squad did take two out of the three, and that pair of victories were convincing ones to say the least.


The Devils lost a ninth inning heartbreaker 6-5 with the largest attendance this season in the stands.

ASU was down by three runs twice in the game. The Sooners jumped to a 3-0 lead in the fourth thanks to a pair of home runs. A two-run home run from Jeremy West shrunk the lead to one run in the same inning. Two Sun Devil errors and two Sooner infield singles in the seventh helped the visitors increase their lead to three runs once again. A leadoff by catcher Joel Bocchi, followed by Rod Allen's fourth home run of the year shrunk Oklahoma's lead to 5-4 in the seventh. A run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Nick Walsh knotted up the game at 5-5 in the eighth.

The Sooners' Reggie Willits scored on a questionable fielder's choice in the ninth, and the home team had no answer to that play. Thus, ASU lost its first game since Jan. 31st when they recorded their first loss of the season at Long Beach State. ASU reliever Mark Sopko was credited with the loss. Starter Ben Thurmond fanned out six batters, but the three runs given up, as well as six hits, negated his performance. Relievers Beau Vaughan, Brett Bordes, Robbie McClellan, as well as closer Ryan Schroyer had all solid nights out of the bullpen.


ASU returned to their winning ways with a 10-3 victory in a game, which marked the halfway point of the regular season. A season high seven doubles, two by Mike Guerrero filling in for the ailing Jeff Larish, propelled the Devils to victory.

Aside from Guerrero, leadoff hitter Dustin Pedroia also shined in this game. Pedroia notched his 20th multi-hit game of the year. Other hitters who made their mark were Senior Dennis Wyrick, who went 2-for-6 with two RBI's, and Rod Allen who recorded three hits. It was actually the Sooners who took the early one run lead in the third. However, ASU exploded for four runs in the fourth. A double by Travis Buck and walks to Ryan Bosch and Pedroia (the later an intentional one) loaded the bases, and Wyrick's hit scored two runs. Guerrero's double capped off the inning and helped his team jump to a 4-1 lead.

Oklahoma reduced their deficit to 4-2 in the fifth, but Sun Devil runs in each the fifth and sixth inning helped the home team increase their lead to 7-2 lead. Another intentional, walk by the Sooners, this time to Jeremy West, was followed by a Steve Garrabrants two-out single to right field to score Wyrick and swell the lead to 8-3. Pedroia brought in two more to cap the final score at 10-3.

For the second time this season, pitcher Jered Liebeck pitched following a loss and helped the Devils get back in the win column. The senior struck out four, and gave up two runs despite giving up nine hits. It was another solid night for the which following that game had lowered its ERA to 3.68. Bryce Kartler, Mark Sopko, Chris Beatty and Carlos Arguello collectively gave up one run and two hits in the final three and two thirds innings.


Sunday's game marked another ten run game by Murphy's squad, as ASU won the rubber match of this series 10-2. Those who left early didn't miss much, as the home team scored all their runs during the first three innings of play.

The run onslaught by the Devils came early and often. Dustin Pedroia, Dennis Wyrick and Mike Guerrero all recorded doubles, which contributed to a four-run first inning. The second inning was modest in terms of scoring – only a lone run, but the bats continue to sizzle in the third where ASU added an additional five runs, which as mentioned were the last runs scored in the game for the maroon and gold.

Oklahoma was able to finally get on the board in the third, and added their second and last run in the seventh. Pedroia continued his multi-hit tear, recording his 21st of the year by going 2-for-4. He also has 21 doubles in the 2003 season. Andrew Ethier added two hits of his own. Left-hander Erik Averill improved to 6-0, and gave up one unearned run in five innings. Averill had three hits and the same number of strikes. Relievers Beau Vaughan, Brett Bordes and Carlos Arguello sealed the win giving up only one run on four hits in four innings.

Arizona State improves to 30-2 after this series, and is victorious in 21 of their last 22 contests. Both schools face each other again in Oklahoma City on April 30. The Sun Devil will enjoy a brief layoff, before they return to action against Wichita State (13-5). on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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