The 24th-ranked Arizona State University baseball team tied Gonzaga, 6-6, in eight innings on Sunday at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. The game was called after the eighth inning due to Gonzaga's pre-arranged travel plans.
This is the first tie game for ASU since March 4, 2001, when the Devils tied No. 2 LSU 5-5 at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (7-2-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and tacked on two runs in the third inning to gain a five-run advantage, but Gonzaga (6-4-1) scored one run in the fifth and five unearned runs in the eighth to take the lead, 6-5.
Right fielder Trever Allen led off the bottom of the eighth frame with a solo home run to knot the score at six runs apiece before three consecutive outs ended the game in a 6-6 tie.
Center fielder Kasey Coffman led off the first inning with his first career home run and catcher Nate Causey and third baseman Michael Benjamin followed with a pair of RBI singles to put the Devils ahead early.
Second baseman James McDonald and Allen knocked in a double and a triple, respectively, in the third, and Causey drove in a run on sacrifice fly to center field to put ASU ahead, 5-0.
Starting left-hander Adam McCreery scattered seven hits across five innings and allowed just one run to go with four strikeouts.
Left-hander Matt Dunbar took over in the sixth and did not allow a base runner until a leadoff walk to start the eighth. Dunbar struck out the following batter and induced a groundout to the next Bulldog before a pair of errors and two hits, including a double, brought Gonzaga to within one, 5-4.
Right-hander Alex Blackford replaced Dunbar with two outs in the eighth and surrendered a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced that tied the game at five. Blackford hit the next batter with the bases loaded to walk in the go-ahead run.
The Devils chased Gonzaga starter Billy Moon in the first inning after Moon gave up three runs, including one earned, on three hits in the opening frame. Four Bulldog pitchers combined to close out the next seven innings.
Arizona State returns to Packard Stadium to host a three-game series against Long Beach State March 8-10. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. (MT) on Friday and Saturday, and at 12:30 (PT) on Sunday. Friday and Sunday's games will be Internet-only broadcasts and can be found on thesundevils.com All-Access player. Follow the team on Twitter at @ASU_Baseball for live scoring and updates from the weekend, and check thesundevils.com for stats, notes and more.
Game Notes: Coach Esmay moves to 60-13-1 all-time against non-conference foes...ASU now has hit seven home runs this season by five different players...the Sun Devils turned a season-high three double plays in the game...McDonald hit his team-high fifth double in the third inning... Benjamin had two hits to extend his team-leading hitting streak to nine games.
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