TEMPE, Ariz. — The 16th-ranked Arizona State baseball team opened the 2013 season with a walkoff 5-4 victory over Bethune-Cookman in 11 innings Friday night at Packard Stadium.
A dropped third strike in the bottom of the 11th allowed shortstop Drew Stankiewicz to get to first base with one out, and he moved to second when third baseman Michael Benjamin drew a walk. The next better, center fielder Kasey Coffman, roped a single into center field to score Stankiewicz and give the Sun Devils a thrilling win and a 1-0 start to the season.
Stankiewicz went 3-for-5 on the night with three runs scored and a RBI, and Coffman registered both the game-tying knock knock in the ninth and the game-winning hit in the 11th.
Left-hander Matt Dunbar (1-0) threw a scoreless 11th inning to earn the win, while a pair of freshmen — right-hander Ryan Burr and left-hander Brett Lilek — combined to allow just one hit over five innings. Starting right-hander Trevor Williams struck out four in five innings
and allowed three runs, including two earned, on four hits.
ASU trailed 4-3 with two outs and no runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but three consecutive base hits, including a run-scoring single by Coffman, pushed the game into extra innings.
Stankiewicz hit his first career home run off the top of the right-field fence in the bottom of the third inning to give ASU a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats (0-1) countered with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 advantage. A leadoff walk followed by an error on second baseman James McDonald set up consecutive RBI singles before Williams closed out the inning.
Bethune-Cookman tacked on a run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored center fielder Brandon Turner, who reached third on a single and advanced on a stolen base and a balk.
A pair of RBIs by McDonald and catcher Max Rossiter tied the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Coffman began the inning with a single and a stolen base, and a walk by right fielder Trever Allen put two Devils on base with no outs. McDonald brought Coffman home two batters later with a double to deep center before Allen crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Rossiter.
Burr, who took the mound to start the sixth inning, allowed just one base runner over two innings and struck out three, including the final two batters in the seventh. Lilek pitched the eighth, ninth and 10th innings and allowed just one run on one hit and a walk while striking out a pair. His wild pitch in the top of the ninth gave the Wildcats the go-ahead run.
With the win, the Sun Devils improved to 43-11-1 all-time in season openers, including a perfect 4-0 under coach Tim Esmay. ASU has not lost an opener since 2006.
The Devils face the Wildcats again at 1 p.m. Saturday at Packard Stadium.