June 3, 2011
VIDEO: New Mexico press conference following 4-2 loss to ASU
VIDEO: Arizona State press conference following dramatic 4-2 win over New Mexico
VIDEO: Highlight video of the ASU walk off homerun and celebration
VIDEO: ASU Coach gets ejected from game
TEMPE, Ariz. - Joey DeMichele hit a three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Arizona State University baseball team a dramatic 4-2 win over New Mexico in their opening game of the Tempe Regional on Friday. The Sun Devils improved to 40-16 with the win and will face Charlotte in a winner's bracket game on Saturday.
Down 2-1 going into the last half inning, left fielder Johnny Ruettiger led off the inning with a single to center. The next batter, shortstop Deven Marrero, laid down a sacrifice bunt and appeared to reach first on an error. Instead, he was called out on runner's interference, sending Ruettiger back to first. Head coach Tim Esmay came out to protest the call and was ejected from the game.
The Sun Devils seemed to be ignited by the play, as Riccio Torrez drew a walk and then both Ruettiger and Torrez advanced on a wild pitch. That brought up DeMichele, who hit a 1-2 pitch over the right field fence to win the game.
New Mexico starter Rudy Jaramillo was fantastic, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and limiting the Sun Devils to just three hits over the first eight innings. Gera Sanchez took the loss for the Lobos, as he allowed two earned runs in the ninth out of the bullpen.
The game remained scoreless until the sixth, when New Mexico broke through with two runs on a single by Luke Campbell. ASU got a run back in the seventh, when Marrero led off the inning with a double and scored on a RBI double by DeMichele. That was all the scoring until the ninth-inning dramatics gave the Sun Devils the victory.
DeMichele, playing in his first career postseason game, was the only player in the game with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with all four ASU RBI in the game.
The Sun Devils will face Charlotte, who defeated Arkansas 3-2 in Game One on Friday, at 7 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Arkansas will play New Mexico in an elimination game at 2 p.m.