Comeback Win Gives Devils the Sweep

Unpredictable outcomes and breathtaking plays are what the constant ebb and flow of collegiate baseball is all about. The match up on Bobby Winkles field between the Sun Devils and the Ragin' Cajuns illustrated the point perfectly as Arizona State completed the three-game sweep in dramatic fashion, winning the final game 9-6.

In a series that had featured 29 runs in the first two games, the finale looked to have a much different feel – at least through the first half of the game. Both starting pitchers, junior college transfer Brian Flores for ASU, and sophomore reliever-turned-starter Danny Farquhar for Louisiana Lafayette, turned in excellent performances, holding both offenses to zeroes through the first four innings.

The offenses for both teams began to work themselves out of the doldrums which had plagued them through the first half of the game and the quality swings that were presented in the first two games of the hotly contested series showed up in force.

Arizona State struck first, relying on walks and speed, along with the big bat of – who else – Brett Wallace. Ryan Sontag reached base on a fielder's choice and promptly swiped second setting up a lengthy at-bat for the only starter who failed to get a hit in Saturday's ballgame, Andrew Romine. Romine worked the count, fouling off numerous pitches, until he finally got a pitch to hit and swiftly knocked the two-strike pitch into center field to drive home Sontag and break the 0-0 deadlock.

After another walk and a hit by pitch, Wallace stepped to the plate in a familiar setting – Packard Stadium with men on base. Wallace took the offering from Farquhar and hit it into the right-center gap to clear the bases with the only hit he was missing yesterday to complete a cycle – the elusive triple.

The 4-0 lead would not last long however, as the Cajuns finally hit a stride of their own in the next half inning and before it was over, Louisiana Lafayette had gotten an RBI double from Scott Hawkins and a three-run home run from leftfielder Jefferies Tatford. When Flores got relieved by Ike Davis the lead had already been lost as ASU trailed 5-4.

The heroics of Davis did not end with the strikeout, as he led off the next half-inning with a walk and quickly made his way to third base where he stood when ASU pulled off a feat not often seen in baseball – the triple steal. Davis sprinted towards home during the pitchers windup and slid in safe, tying the game at 5 all with a steal of home plate. Romine stole second and Davis was replaced on third by Petey Paramore.

The Cajuns would not go away as the scrounging offense once again clawed its way into the lead in the seventh manufacturing the go-ahead run on a walk, sacrifice and an RBI single.

The ASU offense would not go down without a fight even though they had been so far limited to just four hits on the afternoon. Paramore got things started in the eighth inning and when his teammates matched their game total of hits with four in the eighth inning, the Devils had crossed the plate four times and the only thing left in the series sweep was for freshman Jason Jarvis to shut the door. Jarvis worked the final three innings to earn the win in relief of Flores.

With the victory, ASU earned its seventh series sweep on the year – including their third sweep in a row. The win moves the season high winning streak to 11 games. Next up on the docket, the Devils face a mid-week match up with the Warriors of Hawaii on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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