Unexpected Start Fuels Arizona past ASU

The Arizona Wildcats were searching for a third starter and Hamilton product Cory Bernard was ready to make a statement to coach Andy Lopez that he was deserving of that role, but Bernard never got that chance. The freshman, who made headlines last season for throwing 172 pitches in a playoff game last year, injured his elbow warming up in the bullpen and was scratched from his start.

That opened the door for junior Daniel Workman to step in and stake his claim for the job. The Sierra Vista native kept No. 1 ASU off balance all night and pitched the No. 17 Wildcats to a 4-2 win at Packard Stadium.

It was the first loss at Packard Stadium for ASU this season and it snapped ASU's five game winning streak against UA (27-9).

ASU (31-4) was without star second baseman Zack MacPhee for the second time in three games due to an illness. Freshman Deven Marrero started in his place.

"[Workman] pitched really well. I thought he commanded the zone. Normally in a Tuesday game, after playing in the Pac-10 on a weekend, you usually don't see a 4-2 ball game," ASU head coach Tim Esmay said. "Credit both sides; I thought both sides played a well-rounded defensive game."

The Sun Devils jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Johnny Ruettiger legged out an infield single with one out in the inning and UA left fielder Bobby Brown lost a fly ball off the bat from Matt Newman in the evening sky, letting Newman reach with a double.

Raoul Torrez followed with a double off the base of the right field wall that scored Ruettiger and Newman.

While Workman threw a good game, ASU freshman starter Brady Rodgers did, as well.

He held the Wildcats scoreless for the first three innings, before running into a bump in the road in the fourth inning.

After getting ahead of Rafael Valenzuela 1-2, Rodgers hit him with a pitch to put the leadoff hitter on. After a fly out, Rodgers walked Steve Selsky and Robert Refsnyder made it 2-1 with a base hit to right that scored Valenzuela and sent Selsky to third.

Seth Mejias-Brean tied the game at 2-2 with a sacrifice fly, but the big blow came from Bobby Brown. He sent a long drive to deep center that fell just out of the reach of Ruettiger and Refsnyder scored to put UA up 3-2.

Workman set down the final 12 batters he faced, before leaving after 6 1/3 innings.

"He was pitching to what the umpire was giving him," said Raoul Torrez. "The umpire was giving him a good zone, a good amount of plate out, and he kept pounding away, pounding away. He pitched really well."

Rodgers also settled in and worked out of a few jams to keep the score at 3-2.

UA eventually did add an insurance run against reliever Mitchell Lambson in the eighth, thanks to a disputed balk call. After walking, Jett Bandy moved up to second on a balk call that Esmay argued to no avail.

That allowed Bandy to move into scoring position and it ended up being a big call when Refsnyder singled allowing him to score.

The Sun Devils threatened to break through against UA reliever Bryce Bandilla in the eighth, but couldn't come through with a clutch hit.

Austin Barnes led off with a single into right, but Drew Maggi followed with his third strikeout of the game, swinging at what would have been ball four.

Marrero then placed a beautiful bunt single down the third base line and Kole Calhoun followed with a base hit to load the bases.

Bandilla then got into a battle with cleanup hitter Riccio Torrez and eventually got Torrez to hit a lazy fly ball to left that was too shallow to allow a run to score. The threat ended when Zach Wilson grounded out weakly to first.

Any chance of a rally in the ninth was stymied by a pair of outstanding defensive plays by UA shortstop Alex Mejia.


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