Arizona takes Game 2 in Territorial Cup baseball series

TEMPE, Ariz. — The 25th-ranked Arizona State baseball team fell to Arizona, 10-9, in the second game of the Territorial Cup Series on Wednesday night in front of 3,193 fans at Packard Stadium.

Sophomore catcher RJ Ybarra doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning with the Sun Devils (17-13) trailing 10-9, and pinch hitter Tucker Esmay moved to third on a balk, but ASU was unable to bring home the tying run.

The Devils rallied from a 6-3 deficit in the bottom of the fifth inning and again responded from a one-run hole in the bottom of the sixth, but the Wildcats (15-19) scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth for the fifth and final lead change of the game.

Ybarra went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, and now has 11 RBI in the past three games. Sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale recorded a pair of hits and two RBI, and junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz added a two-run homer to lead ASU.

The two teams have split their first two meetings and the winner of the Territorial Cup point will come down to a best-of-three series in Tucson April 25-27. ASU currently leads the Territorial Cup Series, 7.5-6, with seven sports still undecided.

Sophomore right-hander Jordan Aboites (3-2) was responsible for two runs, including one earned, on three hits and took the loss. Starting freshman right-hander Seth Martinez allowed four runs on six hits and struck out one in 2 2/3 innings.

The Wildcats struck first in the opening frame with an RBI double by designated hitter Michael Hoard and added three more runs in the top of the third to take a 4-0 lead. Martinez recorded two outs to begin the inning, but allowed a single and a walk before a two-run double by first baseman Bobby Dolbec and an RBI single by third baseman Willie Calhoun ended Martinez’s outing.

Stankiewicz and freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee responded with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the third to pull the Devils within one, 4-3. DiNatale took a leadoff walk and scored on Stankiewicz’s two-run homer to right field, and Woodmansee followed with a solo shot to left field on the 11th pitch of his at-bat.

Shortstop Kevin Newman knocked in an RBI single in the top of the fourth and center fielder Scott Kingery drove a leadoff home run to left-center field in the fifth to extend Arizona’s lead to three, 6-3.

The Devils countered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take their first lead of the game, 7-6. Ybarra began the two-out rally with an RBI single and scored in the next at-bat on a run-scoring single from junior left fielder Jake Peevyhouse, and DiNatale capped off the four-run frame with a two-run double down the left-field line.

The two teams traded a pair of runs in the sixth inning to keep ASU ahead by one, 9-8. Arizona retook the lead in the top of the sixth on a bases-loaded wild pitch from redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Diamond and a throwing error at the plate by Ybarra, but the Devils responded for the second consecutive inning with Ybarra’s two-run single.

ASU took a 9-8 lead into the eighth inning, but the Wildcats scored two runs in the top of the frame to move back ahead by one, 10-9. Consecutive two-out hits, including an RBI single by Kingery, tied the game and chased Aboites. Sophomore right-hander Ryan Burr issued a walk to the first batter he faced to load the bases for Calhoun, whose grounder up the middle was misplayed by Woodmansee to allow the eventual game-winning run to score.

Arizona left-hander Evan Herbert (1-0) earned his first win of the season after tossing two scoreless innings. Starting right-hander Morgan Earman was chased with two outs in the third after he conceded three runs on two hits and three walks.