May 16, 2004
Jason Urquidez was at the top of his game Saturday night. Which means Oregon State had little chance against the Arizona State ace.
Urquidez scattered nine hits over 8 1 /3 innings in outdueling Beavers freshman Dallas Buck in a 3-1 Pac-10 baseball victory witnessed by an appreciative crowd of 2,860 at Packard Stadium.
Urquidez, who received a rousing standing ovation after being relieved by closer Zechry Zinicola, struck out 12 and walked only two. He threw 133 pitches, 90 for strikes.
"I felt like I had a rhythm with all the pitches I threw," said Urquidez, who won for the 10th time in 12 decisions. "I threw first-pitch strikes and that was the key."
Beavers center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who had four hits, agreed.
"He’s not overpowering. He just hit his spots," Ellsbury said. "And anytime you hit your spots and mix up your pitches you’re going to be effective at any level. He did a very good job tonight."
Urquidez said he felt good in the bullpen warming up.
"I just wanted to bring that rhythm into the game," Urquidez said.
The 19th-ranked Sun Devils (34-13, 9-8 Pac-10) scored in the third after loading the bases on three straight singles. Jeff Larish’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Nick Walsh.
ASU cashed in a walk Joe Persichina drew off Buck (3-4) leading off the fifth. A two-out RBI single by Larish scored Persichina.
The Beavers (27-17, 7-10), who have lost five straight, had two runners on in the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth innings but couldn’t get the timely hit.
They outhit ASU 10-6.
Urquidez also turned in a fielding gem in the seventh when he slid to scoop up a grounder, then began an inning-ending double play to help ASU clinch its first Pac-10 series at home.
"He made the pitches when he needed to and made a real fine defensive play when he needed to," ASU coach Pat Murphy said. "The people that watched the game tonight realize how good the kid can pitch."
Buck, a defensive back on the football team who played on special teams last fall, struck out three and walked three.
"That kid is a stud," Murphy said.
With runners after second and third and one out in the ninth, Zinicola struck out Paul Richie and induced Chris Campos to line out to third.
The Sun Devils, with Dobson High School alumnus Brett Bordes scheduled to start, will try to sweep the Beavers this afternoon.