March 13, 2011
AUBURN, Ala. - After dropping the first two games of the series at Plainsman Park to Arizona State, the Auburn Tigers avoided the sweep on their home field, downing the Sun Devils 10-8. The loss drops ASU's record to 11-3. The Tigers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn the come-from-behind win. The Sun Devils, who tallied five hits in the fourth inning, got just two more the rest of the way as they were out-hit 14-7.
For the third straight game, Auburn jumped out to an early lead. With two outs in the bottom of the third, the Tigers strung together four straight hits to plate two runs and take a 2-0 advantage.
The Sun Devils responded in the top of the fourth, scoring four times off Auburn's starter Derek Varnadore. After Johnny Ruettiger and Zack MacPhee led the inning off with back-to-back singles, Riccio Torrez bunted them into scoring position. Zach Wilson brought them home in a hurry, crushing a ball over the giant wall in left for a three-run homer, his second of the season. Deven Marrero followed that with a double down the leftfield line. He came home on Matt Newman's double off the centerfield wall.
The Tigers chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring one to cut the lead to 4-3. They would take the lead back in the sixth, scoring two runs to take a 5-4 lead. After Champlin put two men on with one out, he was relieved by Joseph Lopez. Lopez allowed a single and a sac fly that gave the Tigers the lead. Champlin went 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out five but walked two and hit two.
The Devils took the lead back in the seventh, scoring four times against three Tiger pitchers. After Newman was hit by a pitch and Barnes walked to begin the inning against Varnadore, Auburn went to their bullpen. Reliever Sean Ray came in and gave up a sac bunt to Joey DeMichele to put the runners at second and third. Andy Workman hit a flare to center that dropped for a single, scoring Newman. After a walk, Ray was pulled for Ethan Wallen. Wallen promptly gave up a two-run single to Zack MacPhee that made it 7-5. After a walk to load the bases, Zach Wilson hit a sac fly to left that made it 8-5.
The Tigers would draw closer in the seventh, scoring a run off Lopez to make it 8-6. Lopez went two thirds of an inning, allowing one run on two hits before giving way to Mitchell Lambson. They would take the lead off Lambson in the eighth, scoring four times. Walks hurt the Devils, as Lambson walked two batters in the inning then gave up a double down the left field line that evened the score. The next batter, Dan Gamache, hit a ball to left that Matt Newman appeared to catch as he crashed into the wall. The ball came out after he landed and the umpires ruled the batter safe. That made it 9-8. Another run would score on an RBI single that made it 10-8 going to the ninth. The lead would hold in the ninth, as ASU went down in order. Lambson took the loss, dropping him to 3-2 on the year. He went two innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three Ks.
Arizona State will return home Tuesday for a midweek match-up with the Oklahoma Sooners. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.