5-Run ASU Eighth Too Costly, Titans Fall, 8-6

March 17, 2010

Box Score

Fullerton, Calif. - No. 10 Arizona State followed Cal State Fullerton's four-run seventh, with a five-run eight to complete an 8-6 come-from-behind victory and sweep the two-game DeMarini West Coast Challenge Wednesday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans drop to 7-9 on the year while the Sun Devils continue their perfect season at 17-0.

Jake Barrett (2-0), who gave up two of the Titan runs in the seventh, benefited from the Devils' offensive output in the eighth to pick up the win. Jordan Swagerty gave up an unearned run in the ninth but notched his seventh save of the year.

Three of the four batters reliever Kyle Mertins faced reached base and came around to score and he fell to 1-1 on the year with the loss.

Tyler Pill worked seven strong innings against the nationally-ranked Sun Devils, allowing just one earned run (3 runs total) on seven hits while striking out five. Through six, Pill's only bump was a one-out triple by Zack MacPhee and an RBI-single by Kole Calhoun in the third inning.

Fullerton tied the game off starter Jimmy Patterson with little help from the one hit they got in the frame. Nick Ramirez aboard on a fielder's choice, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by MacPhee that would have ended the inning.

In the seventh, ASU scored a pair of unearned runs off the Titan righty to take a 3-1 lead. Austin Barnes reached on Corey Jones' wild throw to first to start the inning. Barnes was then sacrificed to second, moved to third on a soft single by Drew Maggi over shortstop Christian Colon's head. Barnes scored on another MacPhee hit to take back the lead at 2-1. The second run came across on a sacrifice fly/double play by Calhoun that ended the inning. Gary Brown in center made a diving catch racing back toward the centerfield wall, easily scoring Maggi from third. Brown's momentum upended him, but he came up throwing to Colon, who relayed to the plate to get MacPhee (at second on a wild pitch) trying to take two bases on the play.

Brown's play shifted the momentum of the game for Fullerton, at least for their half of the seventh. With starter Jimmy Patterson still on for ASU, pinch-hitters Billy Marcoe and Joey Siddons singled to get things going. Matt Orloff sacrificed the runners up forcing a pitching change. Enter Barrett. He hit the first batter he faced, Colon, which loaded the bases for Brown, who delivered a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3. An out later, Ramirez doubled home a pair with a sharp liner down the right field line to give the Titans and Pill a 5-3 lead.

Fullerton went to their bullpen in the eighth, bringing in Mertins. Riccio Torrez greeted him with a double to left center, and with one out, the righty surrendered back-to-back singles to Zack Wilson and Raoul Torrez to score Riccio Torrez. Head Coach Dave Serrano went to Derrick Dingeman in the pen and he was promptly touched for a Barnes single, a two-run Andrew Aplin triple and a Maggi single that brought around the final four runs of the inning.

Fullerton's Kevin Rath allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings of relief to finish the game.

The Titans added a run in the ninth and finished with the tying runs on base. Brown, leading off, struck out on a ball in the dirt, but the catcher Barnes did not tag him to record the out, so Brown reached first safely on the error. Carlos Lopez walked but was forced out on Ramirez's fielder's choice, and with runners on first and third, Jones lifted a ball deep enough to scored the speedy Brown from third. But that would be all for Fullerton as Swagerty got Walker Moore to pop out to center to end the game.

The Titans head back out on the rad this weekend as they travel to Seattle, Washington, for a three-game series with the Washington Huskies.