March 1, 2002
MESA, Ariz. -- The 15th-ranked Arizona State baseball team pounded out 16 hits in a 15-2 non-conference victory over Loyola Marymount University (LMU) baseball team Friday night at Hohokam Stadium.
The win improves ASU to 9-5 on the season and snapped a streak of five losses in the last six games.LMU dropped to 5-9 with the loss. ASU now leads the all-time series between the two schools 24-6.
ASU starting pitcher Mike Esposito was sharp in his outing to improve to 3-2 on the year. The sophomore struck out a season-high six batters in six innings and did not allow an earned run to cross the plate. Junior right-hander Jered Liebeck picked up his first career save by scattering three hits and allowing only one run in three innings out of the bullpen.
LMU starter Kevin Jenson was saddled with the loss to fall to 1-3 on the year, giving up eight hits and eight runs (four earned) in five innings. He struck out four and walked four in his outing. The Lion bullpen was roughed up for seven runs in three innings. Freshman left-hander Scott Sarver had a good outing in relief, allowing only one run in one and a third innings of scoreless relief.
The Devils threatened in their first at-bat, with second baseman Steve Garrabrants leading off the game with a double to left field, but left the bases loaded to end the inning. Garrabrants was gunned down at home plate trying to score on a groundball to third base by first baseman Jeremy West.
After LMU scored an unearned run in the top of the second on a single by Sean Smith, the Devils came right back with three runs to build a 3-1 lead. Two fielding errors by the Lions opened the gates for the three-run (all unearned) inning, with Doug Schutt plating a run on a fielder's choice and Rod Allen bringing home another run when he grounded into a 5-3 double play.
The Sun Devils added two more runs with a single tally in each the third and fourth innings to increase their lead to 5-1. Garrabrants provided the big hit with a triple to left-center field in the fourth and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Schutt. ASU added to its lead with three more runs in the fifth behind a two-run double by senior center fielder Jon Sheaffer and a run-scoring single by Garrabrants.
The Devils put the game away with four more runs in the sixth and three in the seventh to increase their lead to 15-1. Sophomore Ryan McKenna had a two-run single and freshman catcher Tuffy Gosewisch drove home a run with a single to right field.
LMU was led by two hits each from center fielder Sean Smith and right fielder Christian Campos.
The Lions and Sun Devils will meet tomorrow for the second game of the three-game non-conference college baseball series at 7 p.m. at Hohokam Stadium. The game will be part of a Major League-College Baseball doubleheader, with the Chicago Cubs playing the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 at Hohokam.