ASU baseball rallies, holds off Santa Clara

BY foxsports • February 27, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Starting pitcher Darin Gillies put together a career-long outing and three Sun Devils collected a pair of RBI as the 29th-ranked Arizona State baseball team defeated Santa Clara 9-6 on Thursday on the first day of the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic at Surprise Stadium.

Gillies (1-1) struck out a season-high six over a career-long six innings to earn his first win of the season. He gave up three runs in the first frame but held the Broncos scoreless over the following five innings to help the Devils pull ahead for a six-run lead.

Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz paced the offense with a team-high three hits, two RBI and two runs scored, and catcher R.J. Ybarra and second baseman Tucker Esmay each added a pair of RBI.

The Broncos (5-5) used four singles in the top of the first inning to score three runs and jump out to an early 3-0 advantage.

The Devils (4-4) responded with three runs in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game. Designated hitter Nate Causey began the frame with a double off the right-field wall, and a fielding error on a grounder from left fielder Jake Peevyhouse put runners on first and second for Esmay, who drove both of them home with a two-run triple. Esmay scored in the next at-bat on an RBI groundout by center fielder Johnny Sewald.

Ybarra knocked a two-run single to right field in the bottom of the fifth to score Sewald and Stankiewicz, who had notched consecutive singles to lead off the frame, and give ASU its first lead of the game at 5-3.

The Devils pushed their advantage to 9-3 in the sixth inning behind a bases-clearing single by Stankiewicz and a sacrifice fly by right fielder Trever Allen. A single, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases before Stankiewicz's single to the outfield was misplayed by the Broncos, allowing all three runners to score.

Santa Clara added two runs in the top of the eighth and one in the ninth to cut its deficit to 9-6, but ASU right-hander Eder Erives struck out the final batter of the game to close out the win.

Devils right-hander Eric Melbostad took over in the seventh and eighth innings and allowed two runs, including one earned, on a pair of hits and struck out two. Erives conceded one run on one hit in the ninth.

Broncos starting right-hander D.J. Zapata (1-2) took the loss. He surrendered seven runs, including five earned, on nine hits.

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