May 30, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. -
By Matt Storey
With four hits from two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year Brett Wallace leading the way, No. 3 Arizona State defeated Stony Brook 9-7 in its opening game of the NCAA Tournament Friday night in front of a crowd of 3,425 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The win improves the Sun Devils to 46-11 and means they will face fellow first-day winner Oklahoma tomorrow night.
Wallace was 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored, and he hit his team-leading 21st home run in the victory.
Tommy Rafferty earned the win to improve to 12-0 on the year, as he pitched the final five innings out of the bullpen, allowing four hits and two runs while striking out four. The win ties Rafferty for the school record for pitching victories out of the bullpen, equaling Dave Alexander, who went 12-2 in 1989.
ASU got on the board first, as Wallace scored from third on a balk in the bottom of the first, but the No. 4 seed Stony Brook proved resilient. The Seawolves tied the game with a run in the second, and then scored two more in the third off Sun Devil starter Matt Newman to take a 3-1 lead.
However, Wallace quickly provided an answer for his team, as he crushed a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the third to tie the score. Mike Jones then drove in a run later in the inning with a sacrifice bunt to put ASU ahead.
Still, Stony Brook would not go away, scoring two runs in the fourth to take the lead back. The Sun Devils again responded in the bottom of the inning, with back-to-back RBI singles by Wallace and Ike Davis.
Stony Brook scored a run off Rafferty in the sixth, but he sent the Seawolves down in order in the seventh and eighth innings. Their first three men reached base in the ninth to bring them within two runs, but Rafferty picked off the Stony Brook base runner on second and then got a lineout double play to Wallace at third base to end the game.
Besides Wallace, Davis was the only ASU player with multiple hits, as he went 2-for 4 in the game. Petey Paramore reached base all five times he came to the plate, with a single and four walks.
The Sun Devils next face Oklahoma, who defeated Vanderbilt 8-5 in earlier action, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Vanderbilt and Stony Brook will meet in an elimination game at 2 p.m. tomorrow.