Tom Hauskey's first hit of the year and Andrew Darr's RBI single highlighted a five-run seventh inning as the Razorbacks rallied past the Sun Devils 7-3 Tuesday night before 6,286 at Baum Stadium.
"The crowd was great and in our big inning they were loud and a couple of times when they runners on base and a chance to score, they got off their rears and got into it," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "It was fun to hear and fun to watch."
Arkansas (23-6), the top-ranked team in Collegiate Baseball poll, trailed 3-1 entering the seventh to Arizona State (23-6), the Baseball America number one squad.
Ben Tschepikow also added an RBI single in that deciding inning, which featured an error, a walk, a hit batter and pinch-hitter Scott Lyons' two-run single that added insurance runs.
"They made a couple of mistakes and we took advantage of it," Van Horn said. "Instead of just tying it up, it gave us a chance for an extra at-bat and two and we scored a couple or three runs."
The fact that the Razorbacks had just two hard hit balls in the inning had Sun Devils' head coach Pat Murphy thinking back to what might have been.
"If you walk them, hit them and you error one and you throw in a couple of cheap hits, it's a big inning," Murphy said. "Then sure enough what happens is somebody gets a hard-hit ball. Credit goes to Arkansas for staying on it and their pitching did a good job of not giving up free bases and our relief pitching didn't do the job."
Chase Leavitt earned a full-count walk with one out in the bottom of the seventh and then Hauskey – in just his seventh plate appearance of the season - drilled the first pitch he saw.
"I know that I only have six at-bats on the year and there are not a lot of scouting reports on me," Hauskey joked. "I was pretty much 100 percent sure that he would give me a fastball and I said if it is in the zone, I am going to swing and hopefully hit it hard somewhere."
Van Horn loved what he saw from the back-up catcher.
"Thomas did what pinch hitters are supposed to do – come off the bench swinging and hit the first pitch in the four hole (between first and second) and we were off and running," Van Horn said.
Tschepikow's single cut it to 3-2 by plating Leavitt and then pinch-runner Collin Kuhn scored to tie it when Jacob House's grounder was booted.
"The ball that House hit up the middle, I don't know if they would have turned a double play," Van Horn said. "He hit it hard, it was up the middle and the shortstop got to it and just couldn't hold it."
Darr, an Arizona native who struggled at Tempe last season, then made up for that by driving in the go-ahead run with a bloop single.
"Being from Arizona, it is nice to beat a team you grew up watching," Darr said. "It was off the end of the bat. It was a slider away and I just tried to get some bat on it and just got lucky I guess."
Lyons capped the rally by drilling a hard-hit single to right-center.
"Lyons has a little issue with his leg and I was trying to rest him, but I ask him before the game if he could just give us a pinch-hit and sure enough he delivered," Van Horn said. "We needed all those runs as you saw by the ninth inning."
That ninth inning saw reliever Stephen Richards walk the bases loaded, but fanned Drew Maggi to end the game.
He got the save in relief of winner Sam Murphy, who pitched three innings after starter Brett Eibner gave his club five solid innings with two runs on five hits and and three walks.
"I felt good going out there, but I didn't feel like I had the same stuff I had at Missouri State," Eibner said. "My slider was a little flat. I ended up making some pitches and getting out of some jams and we won the game."
Arizona State took a 1-0 lead in the third when freshman Zack MacPhee stole home off of Eibner.
The Sun Devils' third base coach marked a line a pitch before and MacPhee dashed home.
"We saw it (coming)," Van Horn said. "He marked his spot. We were out there yelling and we are thinking Eibner is going to see it and speed up his delivery or just throw a strike. He just stole home on him."
The visitors' lead grew to 2-0 on Kole Calhoun's RBI single in the fourth.
Arkansas cut that deficit in half in the bottom of the frame against Seth Blair when Jacob House's hit chased home Andy Wilkins, who had doubled.
The Sun Devils then grabbed a 3-1 advantage on Carlos Ramirez' 11th home run of the season.
Murphy said his team should have been up more.
"Our offense – we did some dumb things early," Murphy said. "We got thrown out a couple times without good jumps and the rule is if you don't get a good jump, you don't go."
The two teams will play again Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. to conclude the two-game set.