March 11, 2006
CORPUS CHRISTI -- The 14th-ranked Arizona State baseball team rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the late innings to claim a 6-5 win over number one Rice in 10 innings on the second day of the Whataburger College Classic tournament Saturday evening in Corpus Christi.
The Owls led 5-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Sun Devils scored three in the inning, tied it with a run in the bottom of the ninth and won it with one out in the tenth. It was Rice's third loss in the last four games as the Owls fell to 14-5 on the season.
Rice was in control early behind starter Joe Savery. In the top of the second inning Josh Rodriguez led off with a walk and he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Dodson. Freshman Aaron Luna followed with a single into left field to score Rodriguez.
The Owls stretched the margin to 4-0 with a three-run fourth. Rodriguez led off with a single into center field and he took second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Luna hit a high fly ball to right at windy Whataburger Field that dropped in for a hit and the freshman alertly stretched it into a double. Rodriguez could only advance to third, but he scored on a passed ball. Friday walked and he made it around to third, with Luna scoring, after a pair of wild pitches. Danny Lehmann walked and an errant throw to first by the Sun Devil pitcher scored Friday.
ASU came right back with a run in the bottom of the frame. A leadoff single by Ike Davis, a sacrifice bunt and a single by Austin Stockfish made it a 4-1 game.
Friday led off the top of the seventh with a triple into the left field corner. He scored on single up the middle by Lehmann. The run became big because the Sun Devils scored three runs off the Rice bullpen in the seventh on two hits, two walks and a pair of Rice fielding errors to make a 5-4 game. ASU added a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up, 5-5, and force extra innings.
Rice had men reach third base in both the ninth and tenth innings but ASU worked out of the jam both times. In the bottom of the tenth J.J. Sferra drew a one-out walk, stole second and went to third on a bunt single. Rice issued an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a potential double play, but a single through the left side by Willy Fox scored the winning run.
Rice next meets local opponent Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the final game of the round-robin tournament on Sunday. First pitch with the Islanders is slated for 3:30 pm at Whataburger Field, home of the Houston Astros' AA affiliate the Corpus Christi Hooks.