ASU baseball: Sun Devils bested by Cowboys, 3-2, in 10 innings

The Sun Devils took the series, but the Cowboys avoided the sweep in Phoenix

The Sun Devils could not complete their sweep as they fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 3-2, in 10 innings Sunday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. With the loss, the Sun Devils fall back to .500 on the season with a record of 6-6. 

"I thought we played really good baseball all weekend," ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. "I think the guys went out there with an intent to win and it just didn't happen today. We play that way over the rest of this year, we're going to win a lot of baseball games."

ASU had runners in scoring position with one out in both of the final two innings of the game, but an inning-ending double play in the ninth and a groundout followed by a foul out in the 10th sealed ASU's fate.

In the top of the 10th, the Cowboys were down to their final out in the top half of the inning, but a two-out walk and back-to-back singles by senior outfielder Jon Littell and sophomore infielder Ryan Cash brought in the game-winning run. 

OK State's junior left-handed pitcher Carson Teel picked up his first win of the year while ASU's sophomore left hander Chaz Montoya was handed his first loss of 2018.

Despite not sweeping the series, the Sun Devils did earn their first series win of the season by way of last night's 14-2 victory. ASU also outscored the Cowboys 25-6 over the course of the three-game series.

"This is huge," ASU's starting pitcher sophomore Alec Marsh said. "This is my second year here, and this is the first time I've felt like everybody was in every single inning for all three games. I really like where we're heading."

How it Started

The Sun Devils got on the scoreboard first when freshman infielder Gage Workman singled to right field, scoring freshman shortstop Drew Swift from second base with runners on first and second in the bottom of the third inning.

However, ASU could not hold onto the one-run lead as the following inning, the Cowboys got two RBI singles to take a 2-1 lead.  

Torkelson Chasing History

ASU tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning when freshman outfielder Spencer Torkelson launched a solo shot over the center field wall. It was his seventh homer of the season and the Sun Devils have played just 12 games in 2018. 

"Leadoff batter in the inning, I knew he didn't want to walk me or anything, so I knew it was going to be a good pitch to hit so I just wanted to put my best swing on it," Torkelson said. 

What perhaps makes Torkelson’s start to the season even more remarkable is he is now four home runs away from tying the freshman record set by Barry Bonds in his freshman season.

"I would tell everybody, 'Enjoy this one because he's one of those rare hitters that doesn't come around very often,'" Smith said. "Sun Devil fans are lucky to see this guy for the next few years."

Dominant Relief

OK State's Teel was a force to be reckoned with on the bump. 

After Cowboys' starter sophomore pitcher C.J. Varela exited the game after 2.2 innings, Teel took OK State the remaining distance of 7.1 innings. He threw 105 pitches, allowing just six hits and one run while dishing out five strikeouts. 

What’s Next for ASU

The Sun Devils head to Malibu, California, for a quick, one-game series with the Pepperdine Waves on Tuesday. First pitch from Malibu is scheduled for 3 p.m. MST. Boyd Vander Kooi, a freshman right hander from Mesa, is expected to start for the Sun Devils, per Smith.

ASU then returns to the Valley to face North Carolina-Wilmington in a three-game series beginning Friday. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @Michael_Baron96 on Twitter.

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