ASU Baseball excels in all facets en route to 4-3 regional win over New MexicoPosted: Updated:
Starting right-hander Trevor Williams went 7 2/3 innings and James McDonald drove in three runs to lead the Arizona State University baseball team to a 4-3 win in the opening game of the Fullerton Regional on Friday in Fullerton, Calif. Williams (6-6) allowed just three runs and struck out four as he earned his first win since April 19.
Right-hander Ryan Burr walked the leadoff batter in the ninth to put the winning run at the plate, but recorded three consecutive outs, including a game-ending groundout to one of the nation's elite hitters, DJ Peterson.
Burr (12) recorded his 12th save of the season and now holds the freshmen single-season record for saves.
McDonald led the team with three RBI, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth that proved to be the difference, and center fielder Kasey Coffman scored the first two runs of the game to pace the Sun Devils.
The Lobos took a one-run lead in the opening frame on a RBI single by catcher Mitch Garver, but ASU countered with one run in the bottom of the first and added another in the third inning to take a 2-1 advantage.
Coffman, who took a leadoff walk to begin the bottom of the first, moved to third on a throwing error by Lobos starting pitcher Josh Walker on a failed pickoff attempt before he scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by McDonald to tie the game at one run apiece.
ASU took its first lead of the game after Coffman knocked a two-out double to right field and scored on the next at-bat as third baseman Michael Benjamin's line drive was misplayed by shortstop Jared Holley.
Peterson tied the game, 2-2, with a sacrifice fly to right field in the fifth after he came to the plate with runners on first and third and one out. Catcher Max Rossiter then caught Sam Haggerty stealing second to end the frame.
McDonald hit a two-run homer over the right-field fence as ASU retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, 4-2. The Devils again capitalized on a Lobos error as an errant throw by Holley on a groundball allowed Benjamin to reach first and McDonald followed with his sixth home run of the season.
Williams struck out Peterson for the first out of the eighth inning, but Garver hit a solo home run with one out in the top of the eighth to cut the Devils' lead to one, 4-3.
Williams then induced a groundout before hitting a batter and walking one to put the winning run on base. Burr replaced Williams and struck the next batter out looking to end the frame and strand two on.
ASU handed NM starting right-hander Walker (11-1) his first loss of the season. Walked went 7 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and four walks.
Williams came into the game with four career postseason innings pitched...it was the first postseason appearance for Burr...the Devils did not commit an error in the game and are now 14-2 this season when they are flawless in the field...ASU improved to 9-7 in one-run games this season.
Head coach Tim Esmay: 10-4 all-time in the postseason, including 7-0 in regional play
ASU is 7-0 in Regionals since 2003 when winning the first game of the Regional
* Postseason appearance and victories in 2007 later vacated due to NCAA sanctions. Numbers do not reflect vacations.
ASU will face the winner of tonight's game between No. 5 national seed Cal State Fullerton and Columbia. First pitch will be at 8:05 p.m. (PT) and will be televised on ESPNU. The contest will be also broadcast by the MidFirst Bank Sun Devil IMG Network on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 and on the All-Access Player on thesundevils.com. ASU will start freshman left-hander Ryan Kellogg in Saturday's game.
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