Walk-Off Grand Slam In 10th Leads Tennessee To 9-5 Victory Over ASU Baseball
May 1, 2001
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee junior All-American shortstop Chris Burke hit a walk-off grand slam home run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the No. 19 Volunteers a thrilling 9-5 come-from behind victory Tuesday night over the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils at Lindsay Nelson Stadium.
After a two-hour and forty minute rain delay to start the game, not even nine innings could decide the outcome between the No. 15 Sun Devils and the No. 19 Volunteers. Playing in their fourth extra-inning game in the last eight contests, the Sun Devils dropped their first extra-inning game of the year. After ASU held a 5-2 lead after five innings, Tennessee inched back into the game with runs in the sixth, eighth and eventually tied the game with a single tally in the ninth. The game-winner by Burke capped a 3-for-6 game with four RBI and three runs scored. The National Player of the Year candidate missed the cycle by only a double. The game ended at 1:39 a.m. EST, capping an amazing 3-hour, 56-minute game.
The Sun Devils fell to 30-16-1 in the loss, but have still won eight of their last 11 games. Tennessee saw its three-game losing streak come to an end with the extra-inning win, its first of the year. Relief pitcher Franco Pezely took the loss, allowing the winning runs to cross the plate in his 0.2 innings pitched. He is now 3-1 on the year. Tennessee left-handed relief pitcher Will Curtiss took the win, improving to 4-1 on the year with one shutout inning.
With his three hits, senior All-American catcher Casey Myers contributed his team-leading 27th multi-hit game of the year and in doing so became only the third Sun Devil in history to surpass the 300 mark in a career. He joins an elite class with former ASU greats Andrew Beinbrink (318) and Clay Westlake (322). Myers now has 302 hits in his four-year career in the Maroon and Gold. With two RBI Myers continues to inch towards the ASU and Pac-10 career records in that category. The senior All-American backstop now has 265 career RBI, moving into second place in Pac-10 history past former Stanford standout John Gall (1997-2000). With eight regular season games remaining in 2001, he needs 19 more to match ASU and Pac-10 record of 283 set by Beinbrink (1996-99).
Trailing the entire game, it was Burke who did in the Devils again as the sparkplug in the ninth inning. With one out in the ninth, Burke hit a triple down the right field line and later scored the equalizer on a safety squeeze bunt by Stevie Daniel. After Daniel moved to second on a throwing error by relief pitcher Drew Friedberg and stole third base, the Volunteers almost capped the come-from-behind win when Daniel tried to score on another safety squeeze bunt. ASU first baseman Jeremy West cut the bunt off and underhanded the ball to Myers who blocked home plate the would-be game winning run.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three runs in their half of the third inning. Two bunt singles by Jonah Martin and Brooks Conrad helped fuel the rally. Leadoff hitter Nick Walsh plated the first run on a groundout to second base. Junior center fielder Chris Duffy scored a run on a sacrifice fly to left field and senior catcher Casey Myers pushed a ball through the left side to give ASU the 3-0 lead.
The Volunteers countered with two runs in the bottom of the third to pull back to within one run at 3-2. Second baseman Daniel started the scoring with a run-scoring groundout to second base. Senior third baseman Kris Bennett brought home the second run of the inning with a two-out double to center field.
ASU pulled back ahead by two when Walsh tabbed his second hit of the game and his fifth in the last two games with a two-out single through the right side to score Martin. Myers gave ASU a 5-2 lead by ripping a ball through the right side of the infield to score Duffy.
The Volunteers inched back into the game with a single tally in the sixth on a double by designated hitter Brandon Hopkins. Hopkins also provided the eighth inning spark with a single to right field that scored a run after a fielding error by ASU right fielder Mel Stocker to pull UT to within one run at 5-4.
In addition to Myers' 3-for-3 game, Duffy extended his hitting streak to eight games with a 1-for-5 game and Martin added two hits. In addition to Burke's stellar game, Tennessee also received fine hitting performances from Hopkins (3x3) and Ryan Moffett (3x5).
Tennessee 9, Arizona State 5 (May 01, 2001 at Knoxville, Tenn.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 003 110 000 0 - 5 10 2 (30-16-1)Tennessee........... 002 001 011 4 - 9 14 2 (35-13)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Kartler, Torres(4), Friedberg(9), Pezely(9).Tennessee - Johnson, Samuels(5), Curtiss(10).Win-Curtiss(4-1) Loss-Pezely(3-1) T-3:56 A-726HR TENN - Burke (15).Game notes:Conrad has now started a game at 1B, 2B, SS and 3B this year.Myers becomes only third Sun Devil in history with 300 career hits.Rain Delay at 7:05. Game resumed at 9:46 (2:40 minute rain delay)
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations