Devils Win Trojans Series in Dramatic fashion

The thirteenth ranked Arizona State Sun Devils capped off an exciting weekend series with a thrilling 8-7 victory over the #18 USC Trojans. The win also gave the Devils the series victory and improved their overall record to 27-11 and 6-3 in Pac 10 play. It was also the second straight day that the Devils won the game in their last at bat, which seemed to be the theme in the weekend series.

The Trojans won the first game of the series in their final at bat Thursday night, scoring five times to erase a 12-8 deficit in the ninth inning. Teams often have a tough time bouncing back after a tough loss like the one the Devils suffered Thursday, but don't tell that to these Devils. In Friday's match-up, the two teams went at it again battling back and forth for the upper hand.

Trailing 9-8 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Devils were able to rally and score the game tying run after a single to right field by Sun Devil utility man Frank Mesa. In extra innings, the Devils would load the bases with two outs putting the winning run just ninety feet away. Junior infielder, Seth Dhaenens, then came through with a blooper to leftfield that dropped in front of the diving Trojan leftfielder to give the Devils the 10-9 come from behind victory.

In the rubber-match of the series on Saturday, the Devils got off to a good start after a two-run homerun in the second inning by Sun Devil second baseman Eric Sogard. Unfortunately, the lead didn't last long, as the Trojans battled back to score three runs in the third. They went on to add one in the fourth had a 4-2 lead going into the fourth inning. In the fourth, junior outfielder, Colin Curtis, came up with a huge two-out triple that scored freshman leftfielder, Brett Wallace.

Sogard then came up to the plate and crushed his second two-run shot of the game over the right field fence. Once again the lead wasn't a lengthy one, as the Trojans scored three more times in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead. Curtis showed why he is the team leader once again as he doubled home Willy Fox in the sixth and later scored himself on a wild pitch to tie things back up at seven. Curtis wasn't done quite yet. The game remained tied going into the bottom of the ninth, where the Devils loaded up the bases with just one out. The Trojans knew the were on the ropes and pulled in one of the outfielders to play the infield hoping to get the force out at home, or turn two to keep their hopes alive.

However, the Trojans could have put their entire team out on the field and probably wouldn't have helped to stop the determination of these Devils. Especially that of Curtis, who stepped up and delivered the final knockout blow in the form of a chop single that bounced over the outstretched glove of the Trojan first baseman to give the Devils the win and the series.

Curtis finished the day an astounding 4-for-6 with three runs and three RBI's. Sogard's two blasts give him a team-high six on the season and he also leads the team with a .412 batting average. He finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs and four RBI's. Sophomore left-hander, Josh Satow, picked up the win in relief for the Devils, as he didn't allow a run over the final 3.2 innings he pitched. Satow allowed just two hits in the process and improved his record to 2-0 on the year.

The series victory was enormous for the Devils, as they start a tough road stretch traveling to California the next two weekends to battle the UCLA Bruins followed by the Stanford Cardinals. The Devils will travel to Texas first to battle the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a one game match up this Monday. On a side note, Sun Devil skipper Pat Murphy has announced that junior right-hander, Zechry Zinicola, has been suspended from the team. There's no timetable for Zinicola's return.

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