ASU Baseball: Sun Devils outlast Wildcats to sweep Territorial Cup series

ASU baseball swept the Territorial Cup series defeating Arizona in a five-hour marathon, 17-16, behind a Wildcats defensive error.

“I’m going to start this press conference by saying I was actually clean shaven this morning,” said ASU head coach Tracy Smith, smiling and brandishing the beard he’s had all season.

Arizona State baseball swept the series against the University of Arizona on Sunday with a 17-16 win. The game took over five hours to finish, but didn’t go into extra innings. Shortstop Alika Williams said it was “probably the longest nine-inning game I’ve ever played.”

ASU is now 25-1 on the year.

Sunday’s game was a back-and-fourth contest, with ASU trailing by as many as four runs, and leading by as many as three. Both teams recorded four errors, and the teams combined for 29 hits.

The high-scoring affair can be attributed to the pitching inconsistencies for both teams, both ASU and U of A threw seven pitchers each.

ASU starter RJ Dabovich was pulled after just 2.0 innings pitched, after giving up seven hits and seven runs. No Arizona State pitcher threw more than 2.0 innings, and only one pitcher, Colby Davis, didn’t allow a run on the mound. He threw 0.1 innings.

“We’ve been asking a lot out of guys like Corrigan and Tolman, too. They just didn’t have it, they were out of gas,” said Tracy Smith. “I don’t want to say they weren’t competing, they were competing, they just weren’t very effective today.”

On the offensive end, Arizona State took advantage of U of A’s pitching troubles. Only one Sun Devil, Carter Aldrete, who was pulled early due to a back issue, didn’t record a hit in any at-bat. Leadoff hitter Trevor Hauver went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.

U of A saw solid performances from DH Tate Soderstrom and left fielder Matthew Dyer, who each recorded four hits in five at-bats. Arizona’s starter, lefty Andrew Nardi, only threw 2.2 innings, and allowed seven runs.

ASU’s Sam Romero, despite pitching 3.0 innings yesterday, came in to close the game for a depleted bullpen.

“I was ready to go, [Smith] asked me, and I said, ‘yeah, I got it,'” Romero said. “I didn’t think I was going to go in, but I was the last arm there, but I didn’t think I was going to go in. All hands on deck.”

Romero allowed three hits and one run in the eighth inning, but successfully shut out Arizona in the ninth to set up the offense for the win.

The win came from an error with the bases loaded and two outs, when Alika Williams hit a hard ball to the shortstop. He beat out the throw to first, and Drew Swift, who walked earlier in the inning, scored.

After a grueling close to the Territorial Cup series, Arizona State baseball prepares for a midweek game against the Long Beach State 49ers, who are 3-23 on the season.

All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.