(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Arizona State gained another point in the Territorial Cup competition, defeating the Arizona Wildcats 7-5 on Tuesday night.
The trouble started early for the Wildcats as starting pitcher Cody Deason couldn’t get an out in the first inning, only throwing 11 pitches in his time on the mound before getting pulled. This started a common trend for the game as both teams combined to use nine total pitchers.
ASU starting pitcher Jordan Aboites took the mound and made his fourth career start. Aboites was helped by inning-ending double plays in the third and fourth.
“I thought he went out there and battled,” ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. “[Aboites] gave us everything he had in the tank.” Smith said he is very proud of him for giving the team the chance to win. “We needed that from him tonight.”
Just after Cameron Ming replaced Deason on the mound for UA in the first, Andrew Shaps scored ASU’s first run of the night with a single.
ASU’s David Greer walked with two outs, later leading Colby Woodmansee to drive in two runs for a 4-0 lead.
“It was good to see those focused at-bats carried on inning after inning and to tack on the runs,” Smith said. “We’re using guys in untraditional roles, so I’m just happy that they lay it out there.”
Later in the sixth, James Ryan replaced Eric Melbostad to face UA’s Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec struck out on a fastball which limited UA to one run in the inning.
“I thought that was kind of a turning point because it could’ve been a momentum builder for them (UA) and [we] shut it down,” Smith said.
Smith also said he was especially pleased to see his team score early and continue to threaten.
Greer hit his third homer in the sixth, which gave ASU its 7-2 lead, which later turned into a home victory for the Sun Devils.
“I love the fact that we got to start off the Territorial Cup with the first victory,” Smith said. “We have to find a way to piece things together and win the series.” Coach Smith said the guys are confident and know they can get the job done.