Sun Devils Bounce Back With Rout Of Stanford

Arizona State scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back en route to a 10-2 victory over the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday afternoon at Sunken Diamond. John Hudgins took the loss, his first of the season, as he gave up nine runs in 5 1/3 innings of work. Offensively, the Cardinal had many chances to score, but lacked the clutch hit all afternoon. Here's a recap of all the action.

The Arizona State Sun Devils bounced back in a big way this afternoon at Sunken Diamond with a 10-2 victory over the 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal.  ASU (28-17, 10-7) roughed up John Hudgins for five runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to the victory.  With the loss, the Cardinal (34-14, 10-7) saw their five-game winning streak snapped as well as their seven-game home winning streak.  Stanford also fell back into a tie for third place in the conference as the Washington Huskies defeated the USC Trojans today down in Los Angeles by the score of 9-3.  The Trojans (12-5) remain in first place, the Huskies are a game back at 11-6 while the Cardinal and Sun Devils are tied for third with identical 10-7 league records.

The Sun Devils put across five runs off Hudgins in the first inning and all with two outs.  With Dustin Pedroia on first base and two out, Hudgins walked clean-up hitter Jeremy West to put two runners on base.  The next hitter was Rod Allen and the ASU left fielder delivered with a double scoring Pedroia and moving West to third base.  Jeff Larish then stepped up and singled home both West and Allen for a 3-0 ASU lead and then Nick Cadena blasted a home run over the fence in left field extending the lead up to 5-0 and all of a sudden the Cardinal were in a big hole.

Hudgins worked a perfect 1-2-3 second inning, but then ran into some more trouble in the third frame.  West led the inning off with a single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch.  After Allen popped out, Larish came through with another big hit tripling home West for a 6-0 ASU lead.  After Cadena popped out for the second out of the inning, Ryan McKenna singled up the middle bringing home Larish pushing the lead up to 7-0.

Meanwhile, the Cardinal were getting guys on base versus ASU starter Mike Esposito but lacked the clutch hit that could produce any runs.  Esposito worked the first five innings of today's game and had to be pulled after throwing 98 pitches through those five frames.  Stanford put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, but Esposito rebounded to strike out Jason Cooper and Carlos Quentin to get out of the jam.  The Cardinal put runners on base in each of Esposito's five innings, but stranded them all.  In all, the ASU hurler gave up three hits and no runs in his five innings of work while walking four and striking out five.

With the score still 7-0 Sun Devils heading into the top of the sixth inning, ASU put across two more runs to extend their lead.  Hudgins walked Steve Garrabrants to begin the inning and after getting Sergio Garcia to fly out, Dustin Pedroia singled to put two runners on base.  That ended Hudgins' afternoon as Drew Ehrlich was summoned from the bullpen and the sophomore righthander promptly gave up a two-run double to Jeremy West scoring both runs.  Hudgins' final pitching line saw him go 5 1/3 inning giving up nine runs on 11 hits.

ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy then turned the ball over to his bullpen ace Ryan Schroyer in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Stanford put runners on second and third with one out in the last half of the sixth, but Scott Dragicevich popped out and then Andy Topham struck out ending that rally.  Finally in the bottom of the seventh, the Cardinal were able to push across a run.  Consecutive walks to Arik VanZandt and Chris O'Riordan put two runners on base for Stanford's hottest hitter in Sam Fuld.  But Fuld grounded into a 6-4-3 double play ending hopes for a big inning.  VanZandt moved over to third base on Fuld's double play and then scored, when the following hitter, Ryan Garko, singled him home.

The Sun Devils added a single run off Ehrlich in the top of the eighth inning making the score 10-1 and it would remain that way until the bottom of the ninth inning.  With runners on at first and second base and two outs, Carlos Quentin singled home Stanford's second run of the game.  Brian Hall then reached first on a perfect bunt single loading the bases for Scott Dragicevich.  But Schroyer was able to settle down getting Dragicevich to fly out to deep center field to end the game.

Game Notes :
* The Sun Devils threw their top two pitchers out at the Cardinal this afternoon.  Esposito is the ace of the staff and he fired five shutout innings to pick up the win.  Closer Ryan Schroyer threw the final four innings giving up two runs on seven hits.  Schroyer threw a whopping 94 pitches in the those four frames which means it would be highly unlikely that Coach Murphy would bring him back in tomorrow's crucial rubber game.

* The Cardinal had base runners in all nine innings as they recorded ten hits and drew eight walks.  But they managed only two runs as they stranded 14 runners on the base paths.

* Sam Fuld's multi-hit game streak ended this afternoon as the Stanford centerfielder finished the afternoon 0-for-4.

* This was John Hudgins' first start on a Saturday this season.

Arizona State    5 0 2  0 0 2  0 1 0   -   10   13    0
Stanford         0 0 0  0 0 0  1 0 1   -    2   10    0

The teams will conclude this three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1pm.  Tim Cunningham (5-2, 4.34) will be on the mound for the Cardinal while ASU is expected to send out Robbie McClellan (7-4, 4.48).


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