(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
In the third game of the three-game series, the Arizona State Sun Devils hosted the Long Beach State Dirtbags, winning 8-5 to complete their second sweep of the season.
The Dirtbags scored four runs in the first inning, giving them an early lead similar to that of Friday night.
Ryan Lillard got the Devils on the board with a sac fly in the second inning, then extended the lead in the third inning, where they scored five. The first five batters of the inning all recorded hits, for six total in the inning.
The Devils tallied eight runs in the game, with Gage Canning scoring on a balk in the fourth and Ryan Lillard homering in the eighth.
After starter Ryan Hingst pitched only two innings, Jake Godfrey relieved him and took home the win, throwing 3 2/3 shutout innings with two strikeouts.
Connor Higgins pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, striking out three batters to earn the save.
Player of the Game: Ryan Lillard. He went 1-3 in the game, but had two RBIs on the day, the first came when he recorded a sac fly to put the Sun Devils on the board in the second inning. He also hit a home run in the eighth to put the game out of reach for Long Beach State
Unsung Hero: Jake Godfrey. After throwing 1 1/3 innings in the previous game on Saturday to earn the save, Godfrey was the first out of the bullpen to relive Ryan Hingst and threw 3 2/3 innings, allowing no runs and only one hit.
You knew it was over when: Ryan Lillard led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run to put ASU ahead 8-5.
Biggest Concern: For the second time of the series, Arizona State allowed at least four runs in the first inning. While the Sun Devils overcame this both times, it still resulted in a close game both times.
Stat of the Day: As a team, ASU had hit five home runs this season. With four this weekend, the team now boasts nine on the season. Six different players have hit a homer so far this year.
What’s Next?: Conference play is up next, with Oregon State coming into town on Thursday. The first game of the three-game series begins with 6:00 P.M. first pitch.
Nick Badders is a baseball beat writer for the Walter Cronkite Sports Network. You can follow him on Twitter @BadderUpSports.