ASU bounces back, wins game two

After suffering a loss in game one, the Sun Devils (34-16-1, 15-11) fought back Saturday night to secure a 6-3 win over the Wildcats (30-21, 11-15). Saturday night appeared to be a pitcher's duel in the first few innings. Ryan Kellogg took the mound for Arizona State and James Farris took the mound for Arizona.

The Wildcats kicked off the game with a lead-off single to right field but Kellogg was able to get the next three batters out; not allowing a Wildcat run. The Sun Devil hitters went three-up, three-down in their half of the first.

Kellogg returned the favor in the top of the second as he got the Wildcats to go down in order. In the bottom of the second, right fielder Trever Allen singled through the left side with two outs, but was left stranded on base.

The lefty impressed once again in the third. After getting two quick outs, he gave up a single. However, the runner was picked off and the game went to the middle of the third. Two-out hitting proved to be another big factor in the bottom of the inning. Center fielder Kasey Coffman walked with two outs and then stole second. Third baseman Michael Benjamin was up next and singled up the middle, scoring Coffman and giving the Sun Devils their first lead of the series. Second baseman James McDonald grounded out to end the inning, but ASU was up 1-0 after three.

With Kellogg back out on the mound in the fourth, the Wildcats were only able to manage one hit. The Sun Devils went down in order in their half of the inning.

The fifth and sixth innings were three-up, three-down for both teams. Neither team allowed a base runner in the two innings.

Things picked up for Arizona in the top of the seventh. After allowing two singles, a Wildcat runner scored on a throwing error by Benjamin. Kellogg was relieved by fellow freshman Brett Lilek; leaving the bases loaded. Lilek was able to end the half-inning with a looking strikeout, but the game was tied at one. Designated hitter Nathaniel Causey continued his red-hot streak by hitting a single through the right side in the bottom of the seventh. Allen then singled through the left side; scoring Causey. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz and first baseman Dalton DiNatale then hit consecutive singles; scoring Allen. The Sun Devils had jumped ahead 3-1 after seven.

Lilek was back on the mound in the eighth. He allowed two runs on two hits but recorded two outs before Ryan Burr relieved the lefty. Burr was able to strand the runner on second by inducing a groundout to third. The Sun Devil bats came alive once again in the bottom of the eighth. Coffman led off the inning with a single to center. Benjamin struck out, but McDonald was able to pick him up with a single to left center. Catcher Max Rossiter then walked; loading the bases for Causey. Causey earned a walk of his own, which allowed a run to score. Allen then singled once again to left; scoring Rossiter and McDonald. Stankiewicz followed up with another single, but DiNatale struck out and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse flied out to end the inning. ASU was ahead 6-3 going into the ninth.

Burr was on the mound to close the game for the Sun Devils. The freshman continued to impress and he struck out the side to end the game and seal the win for ASU. Burr earned his fourth win of the season.

The Sun Devils and Wildcats battle it out Sunday afternoon in the Territorial Cup finale. RHP Zak Miller (4-0, 4.28 ERA), who has already faced Arizona this season, will be on the mound for the Sun Devils and LHP Tyler Crawford (5-2, 4.02) will be on the mound for the Wildcats.

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