Arizona State Rallies Late, Takes Opener vs. Dirtbags
LBSU took a 5-0 lead in the first inning, but couldn’t hold on late in a crushing loss on the road.
PHOENIX - Arizona State (7-7) scored five times in the final four innings on Friday night, including a game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, to pull off a 7-6 comeback win over Long Beach State (6-6) in 10 innings.
The Dirtbags got off to a flying start in the series opener, scoring five runs on six hits in the top of the first inning. Jarren Duran, Ramsey Romano and Luke Rasmussen each singled to lead off the game, with the final hit resulting in an RBI and a 1-0 lead. After a Brock Lundquist sacrifice fly, Daniel Jackson singled home Rasmussen for a 3-0 lead. That set up the exclamation point on the rally, a two-run home run to left by Lucas Tancas to put the Dirtbags up 5-0. It was the second homer of the year for Tancas, who was 2-for-5 at the plate on Friday.
David Banuelos also singled in the inning, starting off his four-hit day at the plate. Banuelos hit singles in his first three at bats, then delivered a triple to the gap in left center to start the evening 4-for-4 and set a new career high in hits. The junior catcher is now hitting a team-best .405 on the season and is on a six-game hitting streak.
As a team, the Dirtbags had a season-high 14 hits, with five players recording multi-hit games. Along with Tancas and Banuelos, Duran recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season, Romano extended his hitting streak to seven with a pair of singles, and Rasmussen had two hits and a walk on the night.
Arizona State was able to pull two runs back in the fifth inning off LBSU starter Darren McCaughan (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), who was unlucky in receiving a no-decision. A Lundquist RBI single made it a 6-2 game in the sixth, but ASU would score the next five runs to pull out the win.
The Sun Devils scratched across a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to make it 6-4, stranding three runners on base during those rallies. Long Beach State was actually one out away from victory in the bottom of the ninth, but allowed an infield single to the hole in short then a game-tying, two-run home run from Andrew Shaps to tie the game, 6-6. A leadoff walk, along with a pair of throwing errors in the 10th then gave ASU the walk-off win.
LBSU will look to even the series on Saturday as RHP John Sheaks (1-1, 4.70 ERA) takes the ball against LHP Spencer Van Scoyoc (0-0, 1.35 ERA). First pitch from Phoenix Municipal Stadium will be at 3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. PT and the game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
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