FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Freshman sensation Justin Garza threw 8 1-3 shutout innings to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 1-0 victory over Arizona State in the Fullerton regional Saturday night.
The Sun Devils (36-21-1) will play Columbia in an elimination game on Sunday afternoon. The winner of that game will then play the No. 5 overall seed Cal State Fullerton (50-8) on Sunday night.
Garza (12-0), the Big West Pitcher of the Year, allowed four hits, didn't walk anyone and tied his career-high with nine strikeouts.
"I thought Justin was amazing, that's about as easy a way to put it," Cal State Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said.
Cal State Fullerton is 16-0 in games started by Garza this season. His 8 1-3 innings were a career high and he set the school record for wins by a freshman with the victory.
"I just kind of ran with all three of my pitches (fastball, changeup, cutter), they were all kind of working for me this game," Garza said. "I just felt really good today."
The lone run came in the seventh when Jake Jeffries led off with a double, advanced to third on a bunt and came home on Richy Pedroza's sacrifice fly. That was enough for Garza and closer Michael Lorenzen, who struck out the final two batters with the tying run on first to pick up his 19th save.
ASU freshman starter Ryan Kellogg (11-1) suffered his first loss of the year after allowing seven hits and one run in 6 1-3 innings. Before the loss, the Sun Devils had won 16 straight regional games dating to 2006.
"(Garza) just continued to attack the strike zone," ASU coach Tim Esmay said. "We were never really comfortable at the plate tonight."
The game was stopped briefly in the second inning when a large dog ran onto the field. The dog, which appeared to be a husky, ran across the field and then along the warning track before exiting through a gate in left field.
The game finished at 12:50 a.m. Sunday local time. It did not begin until 9:45 p.m. because the previous game was a 13-inning affair that took 4½ half hours to complete.