'Noles squander lead

The No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball team earned another dramatic victory by scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a come-from-behind victory over No. 18 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday afternoon at Packard Stadium

Special to The Territory

ASU freshmen Colin Curtis and Joe Persichina each had three hits and were the leading forces behind the ninth-inning rally. Curtis finished 3-for-5-with four RBI, including his first career home run, and tied the game with a two-run double with two outs in the ninth.

Persichina tabbed the game-winner when he drilled a 1-1 offering from FSU closer Kevin Lynch into center field to score Curtis from second base. ASU also took the series opener Friday night by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-1 victory and will look for the series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. Florida State falls to 2-2 on the season with the loss.

The late rally capped a steady comeback that saw the Devils trail 6-0 after the first inning. Sophomore left-hander Erik Averill relished in his new role of long-relief, limiting the Seminoles to only four hits and one run in five innings. Freshman Pat Bresnehan picked up the victory with two-third of an inning of scoreless relief.

"Wow, this isn't your conventional way to win games, but, we'll take it," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy.

"We didn't play great, but the spirit of this team is unbelievable. They really work well together and believe in their abilities. It is pretty special to see our younger guys come through in the end like that and play some big roles."

The Seminoles jumped out to the early lead with a six-run first inning to chase ASU starter Brett Bordes. Designated hitter Eddy Martinez-Esteve drilled a two-run home run to start the rally. Second baseman Bryan Zech followed with a run-scoring double and left fielder Derrick Smith capped the inning with a two-out, three-run home run.

Preseason All-American Stephen Drew, younger brother of major leaguers Tim and J.D. Drew, added to the FSU lead with a solo homer of reliever Ty Marotz to lead off the second. After the Devils cut the lead to 7-4 with a three-run third, Martinez-Esteve added his second homer of the game off lefty reliever Pat Cassa to give FSU the 8-4 lead.

Curtis' solo homer to lead off the sixth again brought ASU to within three runs, 9-6, and a two-out, run-scoring single from junior Jeff Larish in the eighth cut the lead to two.

FSU freshman reliever Tyler Chambliss quickly retired the first two batters to lead off the ninth and then gave up a sharp single to freshman designated hitter Zechry Zinicola. After a hit-by-pitch to second baseman Josh Asanovich (Gold Canyon), Curtis cleared the bases with a double into the left field corner to tie the game. Persichina followed with a single to drive home Curtis with the game-winning run.

The entire ninth-inning rally involved players that are rookies in the Sun Devil program this year. The Sun Devils (2-0) and Seminoles (2-2) conclude the three-game series today at 1 p.m. Junior college transfer Jason Urquidez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is schedule to make his ASU debut against FSU sophomore right-hander Mark Sauls (0-0, 0.00 ERA). The game can be listened to locally on 1440 AM or over the internet at www.TheSunDevils.com.


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