ASU sweeps Wildcats with 15-2 win

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona baseball team was swept in a three game series for the first time in 2003 in the final three-game set of the regular season. Arizona State completed its three-game sweep over the Wildcats with a, 15-2, win at Packard Stadium on Sunday. The loss, Arizona's season-high fourth straight, dropped the Wildcats to 30-21 to close out the regular season and to 13-11 in the Pac-10.

Arizona State blew open a 6-2 game in the bottom of the sixth on Jeremy West's NCAA record breaking grand slam off of reliever Scott Burns. The bases loaded home run was the 13th of the season for the Sun Devils, who extended the record one-better in the seventh on Steve Garrabrant's grand slam that gave ASU a 14-2 advantage.

Arizona starter Joe Little dropped to 4-4 for the season after giving up four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Arizona State tallied 12 hits in the game drew eight walks off of five different Arizona pitchers. The normally potent offense Arizona offense sputtered for the third straight game, as UA managed to score just the two runs on nine hits in the game. The Wildcats' offense managed just a .229 average in the series and scored just four runs.

With the regular season complete, Arizona will learn its postseason fate on Monday, May 26, at 9:30 a.m. (PDT) when the NCAA announces the 64-team field for the 2003 tournament.

GAME 2:ASU 16, UA 0

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona baseball team gave up 11 runs in the first inning, as No. 4-ranked Arizona State cruised to a 16-0 win over the Wildcats at Packard Stadium on Saturday. The loss was Arizona's season-high third straight and dropped the Wildcats to 35-20 overall and to 13-10 in the Pac-10. ASU, which clinched at least a share of second place in the conference standings, improved to 49-12 and 15-8 in the Pac-10.

Dallas Haught dropped Dustin Pedroia's leadoff fly ball to left field in the bottom of the first, as Arizona State sent 14 batters to the plate, rapped out eight hits, drew two walks and scored 11 runs off of starter Sean Rierson and reliever Kevin Guyette. ASU added four more runs in the bottom of the third and one in the seventh to closed out the scoring.

The 11-run first inning advantage was more than enough for freshman southpaw Erik Averill (8-1), who shut out the Arizona offense on seven hits in seven innings of work. The lefty struck out six and walked just one for his eighth win of the season.

Rierson (9-2), who lasted just a third of an inning, was charged with his second loss of the year after giving up nine earned runs on seven hits.

Offensively, Arizona State out hit the Wildcats 18 to 7 in the game. ASU's Andre Ethier missed hitting for the cycle by just a single en route to a 3 for 5, 4-RBI night at the plate. Friday night hero Dennis Wyrick chipped in with a 4 for 5 night in the blowout win.

Freshman Brad Boyer was the lone Arizona player to pair hits in the game, finishing 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Richard Mercado and Moises Duran each hit a double for Arizona in the loss. The Wildcats will look to salvage just their second Pac-10 series loss of the season in the three-game finale. First pitch for the final game of the regular season is set for 1 p.m. Arizona's Joe Little will square off against ASU's Beau Vaughn on the mound. The game can be heard live on the radio in Tucson on KNST (790-AM).

GAME 1: ASU 5, UA 2

TEMPE, Ariz. - Dennis Wyrick's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning snapped a 2-2 tie, as No. 4-ranked Arizona State defeated No. 16 Arizona, 5-2, at Packard Stadium on Friday. The loss dropped the Wildcats to 33-19 for the season and into a third-place tie with Washington in the Pac-10 standings at 13-9. ASU improved to 48-12 overall and took sole possession of second place in the conference at 14-8 with the win.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the top of the third when Nick Hundley scored on a bunt single by freshman Chris Frey. ASU starting pitcher Ben Thurmond fielded the ball and threw late to first. Sun Devil first baseman Jeff Larish dropped the throw for error, allowing Hundley to score from third for a 1-0 Arizona advantage.

ASU tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a passed ball by Hundley that allowed Larish to score from third.

Frey walked and stole second to lead off sixth and came home on a sacrifice fly by Brad Boyer to give Arizona its second one-run lead at 2-1. The advantage was short-lived as ASU responded with a run of its own in the home half of the sixth on Andre Ethier's RBI triple that scored Dustin Pedroia from second. Notching the game at 2-2.

A pair of singles by Jeremy West and Frank Mesa in the bottom of the eighth off of Arizona starter Richie Gardner paved the way from Wyrick's game-winning hit, as the ASU third baseman lined Gardner's 3-2 offering to left field to plate West from second. Tuffy Goeswisch padded the Sun Devil lead two batters later with bases-loaded, two-run single to left.

Gardner (9-2), who was charged with all five runs in the game, lost for just the second time this season. The right-hander struck out five and walked four. ASU's Carlos Arguello (3-0) picked up his third win of the season with 1 2/3 innings of relief and Ryan Schroyer tossed the ninth to close out win for his eighth save.

Offensively, Arizona rapped out six hits to ASU's 11. Sophomore Jeff Van Houten was the lone Arizona player to pair hits in the contest, finishing 2 for 4.

Arizona and Arizona State will meet up for game two of the three-game set on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on the radio in Tucson on KNST (790-AM).

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