#13 Sun Devils Comes From Behind To Topple #1 Rice in 10 Innings
March 11, 2006
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - On the second day of the Whataburger College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, the 13th ranked Sun Devils and the top ranked Rice Owls met up in what was billed as the marquee match-up of the tournament. The game was everything people hoped it would be, as Rice jumped out to an early lead, only to see ASU battle back to tie it in the ninth, then win it in the tenth on a Willy Fox single with the bases loaded, giving Arizona State the 6-5 win in ten innings.
Rice got the scoring started in the second inning off of starter Ike Davis, who walked two and struck out two on the night in 3.1 innings. Josh Rodriguez led the inning off with a walk, and he would come around to score on an RBI single by Aaron Luna, giving Rice the early 1-0 lead.
The Owls struck again in the top of the fourth, pushing three runs across while facing three Sun Devil pitchers. Rodriguez started the inning with a single to center, then moved to second on an errant pick off attempt by Davis. Davis would give way to Pat Bresnehan, who saw his first action since being injured against Baylor two weeks ago. Bresnehan did not fair well, as Luna doubled to right, putting runners at second and third. A passed ball and a wild pitch later, Rice had a 3-0 lead. They would make it 4-0 when Daryl Arreola, in for Bresnehan, also had a pickoff attempt go awry allowing another run to score.
The Devils got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, when Ike Davis came around to score on an Austin Stockfisch bloop single to right center. ASU was unable to muster much more offense off Rice starter Joe Savery, who lasted six innings, striking out seven and allowing only one run. Rice would post another run in the seventh, thanks to a leadoff triple by Brian Friday and an RBI single by Danny Lehman to put the Owls up 5-1.
Savery gave way to Cole St. Clair in the bottom of the seventh, and the Devils wasted little time getting to him. After loading the bases, CJ Retherford knocked in two with a single through the right side to close the gap to 5-3. ASU would add another run when Austin Stockfisch hit a ground ball to third that was mishandled, allowing Fox to score. Retherford was thrown out at home trying to score from second. The seventh ended with ASU down only one at 5-4.
The Devils battled back in the ninth, after Ike Davis singled to center with one away. Rocky Laguna pinch ran for Davis and promptly stole second. He would come around to tie the game at five on a CJ Retherford single to left field. The Devils couldn't eke out another run in the ninth, so it would take extra frames to determine a victor.
Rice threatened in the tenth, putting a runner on third with two outs, but Zechry Zinicola induced a ground out to short to end the threat.
The Devils mounted a threat of their own in their half of the tenth. J.J. Sferra walked, then Ryan Sontag had a text book bunt single to put runners at first and second. A failed pickoff move by St. Clair moved both runners up 90 feet. Rice opted to give Colin Curtis an intentional walk, setting up Willy Fox for the heroics. Fox took the 1-0 pitch through the whole at short, scoring Sferra from third and handing the Devils a huge come from behind victory over the team ranked #1 in the NCBWA poll.
Fox finished the evening 2-6, while CJ Retherford knocked in three runs thanks to his 2-4 evening. Zechry Zinicola pitched well, picking up his second win of the season. He struck out five and allowed only one hit in three innings of work.
The Sun Devils will wrap up the Whataburger College Classic tomorrow morning when they face TCU at 10:30 Arizona time. Then Arizona State will head to Austin, where they will face the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday evening.