ASU Baseball Completes Sweep of Fullerton

Whenever the ASU baseball team has given up runs this season, they have stormed back with a vengeance to get those runs back and more. On Wednesday night in Fullerton, ASU needed that at a critical time.

After allowing four runs to fall behind in the 7th inning, the No. 1 Sun Devils answered with five runs in the top of the 8th inning and held on for an 8-6 victory and completed the sweep of Cal St. Fullerton at Goodwin Field.

The Titans (7-9) sent sophomore Tyler Pill to the mound to try and avoid the sweep and the freshman All-American from last season and ASU junior Jimmy Patterson engaged in a pitchers' duel early on.

The Sun Devils (17-0) got on the board in the third inning to go up 1-0. After Pill got the first two outs of the inning, sophomore Zack MacPhee tripled to left center and came in to score on a base hit by senior Kole Calhoun.

Fullerton got that run back in the 4th, thanks to some help from the ASU defense. Freshman Carlos Lopez led off the frame with a base hit, but was forced out on a fielders' choice hit by sophomore Nick Ramirez.

A wild pitch by Patterson allowed Ramirez to move up to second, but he then got junior Corey Jones to fly out for the second out. It looked like Patterson was going to get out of the inning with no damage, but a throwing error by MacPhee allowed Ramirez to score and tie the game at 1-1.

The Titans then put runners at second and third, but Patterson got junior Zach Tanida to ground out to escape the threat.

The game stayed tied at 1-1 all the way until the 7th inning when ASU took the lead back. Sophomore Austin Barnes reached to start the inning on an error by Fullerton third baseman Corey Jones and was sacrificed to second by freshman Andrew Aplin.

Sophomore Drew Maggi followed with a single to left center, sending Barnes to third. MacPhee then brought home Barnes with a base hit to right and Calhoun made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly that scored Maggi.

Fullerton rallied back in their half of the 7th, plating four runs to take a 5-3 advantage.

Senior Billy Marcoe led off with a single off of Patterson and senior Joey Siddons followed with a knock of his own. After a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, ASU head coach Tim Esmay pulled Patterson and put freshman Jake Barrett on the hill.

Barrett hit junior Christian Colon to load the bases, a similar spot to what he faced the night before. This time Fullerton got to the freshman reliever.

Junior Gary Brown tied the game with a two-run single to left, but the big strike came one out later when Nick Ramirez doubled down the left field line to put the Titans ahead 5-3.

Fullerton coach Dave Serrano then ended Pill's day and went to senior Kyle Mertins. Sophomore Riccio Torrez greeted him with a double to left center to start ASU's rally.

After a fly out, sophomore Zach Wilson singled sending Riccio Torrez to third and then senior Raoul Torrez brought home his brother with a base hit to left center to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Mertins was then pulled in favor of sophomore Derrick Dingeman to face Barnes.

Barnes reached on an infield single that allowed Wilson to score and tie the game. The game winning blow came next, off of the bat of Aplin.

The freshman center fielder laced a triple to right center that brought home Raoul Torrez and Barnes to give ASU the lead for good. Maggi capped the big inning with an RBI single that put the Sun Devils in front 8-5.

Barrett responded with a scoreless eighth, before turning the ball over to sophomore closer Jordan Swagerty, who allowed a run before picking up his sixth save of the season.

Patterson picked up a no decision, but worked 6.1 innings and allowed just two earned runs. Barrett got the win in relief, allowing two runs in 1.2 innings.

Maggi finished the evening 4-5 with an RBI and a run scored. MacPhee, Riccio Torrez and Wilson all added a pair of hits for the Sun Devils.

ASU will now return home for a three game series with Houston. Game one of the series is on Friday at 6:30 at Packard Stadium, with Seth Blair likely getting the ball.

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