Devils Win a Wild One in Extra Innings

The Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball team opened up the LeClair Classic tournament with a big win over the No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels, 4-3. It took the Devils (9-10) extra innings to hand the Tar Heels (9-1) their first loss of the season. The winning run was scored by sophomore leftfielder Colin Curtis on a wild pitch with two men out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The difference in the game today was the Sun Devil pitching staff. Sophomore right-hander Zechry Zinicola started on the mound for the Devils and allowed just three runs on three hits including five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work. Zinicola had been cruising along allowing just one hit in his first five innings of work. But a solo shot to lead off the sixth by Tar Heel catcher Justin Webb tied the game at 1-1. After getting the next two batters out, Zinicola walked a man and then gave up a two-run homer to Tar Heel first baseman Chad Flack and had to leave the game down 3-1. Senior right-hander Jason Urquidez came in to replace Zinicola and picked up his third win of the season to improve his record to 3-2. Urquidez was dominant in his 5.1 innings of work, striking out nine Tar Heel batters while not allowing a single run. The Tar Heel starting pitcher and preseason All-American Andrew Miller didn't do to bad himself. Miller struck out career-high 12 batters in his 6.2 innings of work.

The Devils did take the early lead in the bottom of the second after freshman Willy Fox stole home with two outs to put the Devils up 1-0. After falling behind 3-1 the Devils rallied in the bottom of the seventh to score two runs and tie the game at 3-3. The rally came with two outs in the inning and was sparked by an infield single by freshman centerfielder J.J. Sferra. Sferra's single was followed with a double to center by junior preseason All-American Travis Buck. After a walk by Colin Curtis and a stolen base by Buck fellow preseason All-American Jeff Larish singled in the game-tying run. The Devils managed just eight total hits on the night and only two Devils, Buck and Sferra had more than one hit in the game. Both finished 2-for-6 with a run scored and Buck had the RBI double in the seventh.

The Devils continue tournament play tomorrow against the host team East Carolina (6-3) at 5 p.m. at Clarke-LeClair Stadium. The Pirates are riding a five game winning streak including a 2-1 win today against Michigan.

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