TEMPE, Ariz. –The 18th-ranked Arizona State University baseball team surrendered seven runs in the final two innings and fell to Baylor, 9-7, in front of 2,437 fans at Packard Stadium’s final season opener.
ASU tallied four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to jump out to a five-run advantage, 7-2, but the Bears (1-0) scored three runs off reliever Josh McAlister in the eighth inning to cut their deficit to two, 7-5. Redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Diamond then gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to tie the game, and a fielding error and an RBI single in the next two at-bats put Baylor ahead.
Redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen hit a home run on the first pitch he saw and fell a triple short of the cycle, and sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale added a pair of RBI to lead the Sun Devils (0-1) offensively.
Diamond (0-1) took the loss in his first career appearance for the Devils after conceding three runs, including two earned, on one hit in an inning. Baylor left-hander Daniel Castano (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless eighth inning and right-hander Josh Michalec (1) secured the save.
ASU right-hander Ryan Burr, in his first career star, struck out five and gave up one run on two hits and three walks in four innings.
Allen knocked the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence with two outs in the bottom of the first inning to give the Sun Devils an early 1-0 lead before Burr hit a batter with the bases loaded in the top of the third to tie the game at one run apiece.
Junior right-hander Darin Gillies took the mound in the top of the fifth and allowed just one run on one hit and struck out two in three innings. Baylor took its first lead of the game in the top of the sixth on a wild pitch by Gillies that scored Bears third baseman Duncan Wendel from third. ASU retook the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs on a fielding error and an RBI single by redshirt junior second baseman Tucker Esmay.
The Sun Devils take on Baylor at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Tim Healey (@TimHealeyASU) and Seth Dhaenens (@sethdhaenens) have the call for the MidFirst Bank Sun Devil IMG Sports Network on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060, and the game will also be live streamed via Pac-12.com at honor former head coach Pat Murphy and more than 30 former Sun Devils
Saturday’s Pitching Matchup
ASU: LHP Ryan Kellogg (11-1, 3.15) *2013 stats
BU: LHP Brad Kuntz (n/a, n/a)
The Devils moved to 43-12-1 in season openers, including 4-1 under coach Esmay…coach Esmay moved to 72-17-1 in non-conference games and 104-28 all-time at Packard Stadium…Diamond and freshman right-hander Hever Bueno made their first career appearances for the Devils.
Tip Your Cap To Packard Celebration
College Baseball Hall of Famer and Sun Devil pitching legend Floyd Bannister threw the ceremonial first pitch.
Season tickets starting at $99, single-game tickets and Mini Packs are on sale now. Admission for ASU students is free with a valid Sun Card. Purchasing season tickets will also give fans first opportunity and priority at selecting seats at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in 2015. Ariz.
Join the conversation all season using the hashtag #OccupyPackard.