The ninth-ranked Arizona State University baseball team scored a season-high 16 runs and tied a season high with 19 hits en route to a 16-3 win against Valparaiso on Friday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
ASU took a four-run advantage into the eighth inning before tallying nine runs on eight hits in 14 at-bats to jump out to a commanding 16-3 lead. Right fielder Trever Allen led off the frame with a solo home run to left field, Benjamin and Rossiter each added two-run doubles, and pinch hitters Rouric Bridgewater and Johnny Sewald knocked in two-run singles to highlight the inning.
Starting right-hander Trevor Williams (5-3) earned his fifth win of the season after scattering nine hits and three runs over six innings.
ASU fell behind, 2-0, after Valparaiso scored a pair of runs in the top of the third inning, but the Sun Devils responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead, 3-2. Designated hitter RJ Ybarra led off the third with a double and then shortstop Drew Stankiewicz followed with an RBI triple before scoring himself on the throw from by the Crusaders shortstop. ASU took the lead for good on a sacrifice fly by Benjamin.
The Crusaders (14-22) loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth and cut its deficit to one, 4-3, with a sacrifice fly, but Williams struck out the next batter before left fielder Jake Peevyhouse fielded a two-out base hit in left field and threw out the lead runner at home to preserve the Devils' one-run lead.
ASU added one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth before its nine-run eighth inning. Right-hander Darin Gillies threw a perfect seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts, left-hander Matt Dunbar struck out two in the eighth and right-hander Josh McAlister punctuated the ninth with a game-ending strikeout.
The Sun Devils face Valparaiso at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at Packard Stadium. The game will be broadcast live through the All-Access player on thesundevils.com by the MidFirst Bank Sun Devil IMG Sports Network and also through the Blaze Radio online at www.ustream.tv/channel/blaze-sport. Fans can also 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.
Coach Esmay moved to 68-15-1 against non-conference opponents...six different Devils had multiple hits and four had multiple RBI.
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