Sun Devils top Baylor 7-4 to earn first win of the season

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Former ASU head coach Pat Murphy and shortstop Drew Stankiewicz chat before the game By Brad Denny Former ASU head coach Pat Murphy and shortstop Drew Stankiewicz chat before the game By Brad Denny

TEMPE, Ariz. -- After a crushing come-from-behind victory by Baylor to open the season last night, the No. 18 Arizona State baseball team mixed up their lineup and sent chief of staff Ryan Kellogg to the hill on Saturday. The result: a 7-4 win, and their first victory of the season.

Before the game, former Sun Devils head coach Pat Murphy was honored. More than 30 Sun Devils Murphy coached were in attendance. Before Murphy’s resignation in 2009, he won Pac-10 Coach of the Year four times (2000, 2007-09) and compiled a coaching record of 629-284-1 at ASU.

The scoring began in the bottom of the second when freshman catcher Brian Serven picked up his first hit and RBI as a Sun Devil. Next inning, in the bottom of the third, first baseman David Graybill crushed a double to left, which drove in right fielder Trever Allen and second baseman David Greer and made the score 3-0 Devils.  

In the top of the fourth, Bears left fielder Darryn Sheppard collected Baylor’s first hit off Kellogg, a solo home run to make the score 3-1. Baylor would add another run off of an Aaron Dodson double to make the score 3-2.

The Sun Devils picked up a run in their half of the fourth inning with a double steal that scored shortstop Jordan Aboites. With the score at 4-2 through four, Baylor center fielder Logan Brown launched the second Bears home run off of Kellogg in the next frame. Kellogg would last five innings in the game, earning a no-decision in his first start of 2014. He finished with six hits, three runs (all earned) two walks and two strikeouts, and the Sun Devils led 4-3 after his departure.

Baylor took advantage of playing small ball in the top of the sixth, when a balk and two groundouts allowed Baylor to tie up the game at four.  

Arizona State loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth for Greer. The Scottsdale native grounded into a fielder’s choice, picking up his first collegiate RBI and putting the Devils back on top, 5-4.

Despite the Bears’ one run in the sixth, sophomore Eric Melbostad was superb in relief of Kellogg. The righty gave up a single to start his relief appearance, but retired 12 straight batters to end his night. Melbostad pitched four innings giving up one hit and one earned run, while striking out two.

“Everything was going right today,” said Melbostad. “I felt really good out there. We’re rolling.”

The Devils tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, and gave the ball to Melbostad to close the game. The first win for the Sun Devils was great executionally, and that is due largely to being less wound up about last night’s loss.

“Sometimes this first weekend, we have to calm down,” said Graybill. “You just have to pull back the reigns a little bit and just let your hard work come to show.”

The series will be decided tomorrow at 12:30pm MST at Packard.