Arizona's big 9th keeps ASU from sweep
PHOENIX -- Starting left-hander Brett Lilek turned in a masterful performance, but a two-run homer by Arizona in the ninth inning led to a 7-2 loss for No. 4 Arizona State on Monday in front of 3,301 fans at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Sun Devils (23-10, 11-4) took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning, but Bobby Dalbec drove a two-run homer, his second of the game, over the left-field fence to plate the go-ahead runs and open a six-run rally in the final frame.
Lilek did not allow a hit nor let a runner reach second base in five consecutive scoreless innings after he conceded a solo home run to lead off the second frame. He retired seven batters at one point, including striking out the side in the fifth, and gave up just three hits and three walks, and struck out five.
A total of 14,050 fans attended Phoenix Muni for the three-game Territorial Cup series and a total of 82,043 fans have attended Muni this season, the 10th-highest mark in the nation and the most on the West Coast.
Dalbec, who started the game on the mound, led off the second inning with a solo home run to give the Wildcats (23-11, 8-7) the lead, 1-0, for the first time in the past 14 innings of the series. Dalbec conceded five hits and struck out four in 4 1/3 shutout innings before he moved to designated hitter. He went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI, three runs scored and two home runs.
ASU catcher Brian Serven scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth after he led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout and came home on first baseman Joey Bielek's sacrifice fly. The Devils took the lead in the ensuing inning on a bases-loaded walk to Serven following singles from second baseman Andrew Snow and center fielder Johnny Sewald, and a walk by shortstop Colby Woodmansee.
Right-hander Ryan Burr (6-1), who entered the game in the eighth inning, was responsible for six runs in the ninth to take his first loss of the season.
UA plated six runs on five hits and four walks in the ninth as they sent 12 batters to the plate. The Devils used three pitchers in the inning, including Burr, and right-handers Jordan Aboites and David Graybill.
ASU holds a 2-1 lead in the five-game Territorial Cup baseball series and currently leads the overall Territorial Cup standings, 7.5-5.5, with seven sports still undecided.