Arizona baseball lights up Arizona State, 17-6

TUCSON, Ariz. — An early two-run lead turned into an early three-run deficit and No. 6 Sun Devil Baseball never recovered in a 17-6 loss to Arizona in the final Territorial Cup Series game on Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field.

The Sun Devils (28-13) opened the game with three hits before they recorded an out and held a two-run lead midway through the first inning before UA scored five in the bottom of the frame. The Wildcats (25-17) added 11 runs over the next five innings and never relinquished their lead.

Arizona freshman first baseman J.J. Matijevic finished a double shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with seven runs batted in before he was lifted in favor of a defensive replacement in the sixth.

Four Devils collected multiple hits as Arizona State hit over .300 for the 10th consecutive game. Center fielder Johnny Sewald recorded his second triple of the season and has reached base in a team-high 23 consecutive games, and third baseman David Greer tied his career with three hits and has a hit in 27 of the past 30 games.

ASU opened the game with three consecutive hits to take a 2-0 lead. Sewald singled and stole second, left fielder Jake Peevyhouse punctuated a 10-pitch at-bat with a RBI double to right field and shortstop Colby Woodmansee notched a base hit before Greer plated the second run of the frame with a RBI groundout.

The Wildcats used three singles, including a RBI base hit by third baseman Bobby Dalbec, and a grand slam by Matijevic to respond with five runs in the bottom of the first and erase their early deficit. Dalbec also homered — a towering fifth-inning blast off the light pole beyond the 405-foot sign in right-center. He collected three runs batted in on that swing alone as part of a career-best six RBI in a 4-for-5 evening at the plate.

ASU right fielder Trever Allen led off the second with a double to the wall in left-center field and scored three batters later on a fielding error. UA countered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, however, to extend its lead to five, 8-3.  

First baseman Joey Bielek drove in the Devils’ fourth run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Sewald hit a leadoff triple in the seventh and pinch hitter Andrew Shaps plated him with a sacrifice fly, his first career RBI, for ASU’s fifth run of the game. The Devils added a run in the ninth as Greer doubled and came home on a run-scoring single by catcher Zach Cerbo.

UA scored one run in both the third and fourth innings, and used two home runs, including a three-run shot by Dalbec, in the fifth inning to push its advantage to 12. The Wildcats added two runs in the sixth via a bases-loaded hit batter and a bases-loaded walk, and scored once in the eighth with a RBI single.

Seven pitchers made an appearance for the Devils and left-hander Tucker Baca was the only one with a scoreless outing. He gave up a leadoff triple in the seventh, but induced a pop fly to each of the next batters to end the inning unscathed.  

Starting right-hander Ryan Hingst (3-2) issued a groundout to the leadoff batter in the bottom of the first before he conceded five hits and a walk to the next six Wildcats, and was replaced by left-hander Eli Lingos. Hingst was responsible for five runs on 22 pitches and took the loss.

UA starting right-hander Cody Hamlin allowed two runs on three hits in one inning before fellow right-hander Robby Medel took over. Medel (2-3) scattered eight runs and gave up three runs, including one earned, in 6 1/3 innings to record the win.