Baseball closes out UC Riverside
Head coach Tim Esmay earned his 100th win as head coach at ASU and the 12th-ranked Arizona State baseball team closed out their three-game series against UC Riverside with an 11-2 win, Feb. 26 at Packard Stadium. Infielders Joey DeMichele and Abe Ruiz combined for five hits and six RBI to help the Devils (5-1) win the weekend, two games to one.
Esmay collected 52 wins in his first season at the helm of the Devils en route to a 2010 Pac-10 Championship, a berth in the College World Series and Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He followed that up with 43 victories in 2011 and led the Devils to a spot in an NCAA Super Regional.
DeMichele hit his second home run of the series in the bottom of the seventh inning to finish the game with a team-high four RBI, and back-to-back RBI sacrifice flies by sophomores James McDonald and Michael Benjamin gave the Devils three runs on four hits in the inning and a 9-2 advantage.
ASU sophomore right-hander Trevor Williams (2-0) earned his second win in as many starts after allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings.
The Highlanders' (3-4) leadoff hitter Devyn Bolasky started the first inning with a single up the middle and first baseman Vinnie Gonzalez drove him home three batters later to put UC Riverside on top first, 1-0.
ASU countered in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single by junior shortstop Deven Marrero and an RBI groundout by DeMichele to regain the lead, 2-1
ASU drove in three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third to take a 5-1 advantage. Sophomore outfielder Kasey Coffman hit a leadoff single, Marrero walked and DeMichele started the scoring with a high-arcing single to left field before Ruiz followed with a two-run double down the right-field line.
DeMichele collected his third RBI of the game in the fourth inning on a single to right field, scoring Coffman, who got into scoring position on a stand-up double to right-center field. Coffman finished with three hits and three runs scored.
Bolasky recorded an RBI groundout in the top of the fifth to give UC Riverside its second run of the game.
Freshman first baseman Rouric Bridgewater hit a two-run homer in the eighth, his first as a Sun Devil, to put ASU up nine with one inning to play.
UC Riverside right-hander Trevor Frank (0-1) lasted 3.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, to take his first loss of the season.
ASU left-hander Adrian Gomez entered the game in the seventh and promptly went three-up-and-three-down to end the inning. Junior right-hander Robert Ravago pitched a scoreless eighth and junior right-hander Jake Barrett allowed no runs on one hit to close out the ninth.
The Sun Devils will once again participate in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic at Surprise Stadium, the 10th straight year the Sun Devils will head to the West Valley. ASU will face Saint Louis, Northern Illinois, Winthrop and Saint Mary's during the tournament. They open play in Surprise, Ariz., March 1 against Saint Louis with first pitch set for 4 p.m. Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens have the call on Sun Devils Sports Network.