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Roadrunners top Sun Devils in extra innings

SURPRISE — The Cal State Bakersfield dugout was vocal all night Thursday.

The team constantly bombarded ASU pitchers with heckles and unrecognizable shouts during every Sun Devil windup.

The Roadrunners (7-2) were pests, hanging around throughout the game until they finally broke through with a Cael Brockmeyer game-winning solo home run in the top of the tenth inning off of ASU junior pitcher Mitchell Lambson (0-1) to defeat the No. 11 Sun Devils (6-2), 2-1, in Surprise.

“People get excited to play us,” ASU coach Tim Esmay said. “Our guys played hard too, I’m just disappointed we didn’t execute to take advantage of the opportunities we had late in the game.”

ASU had the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but junior first baseman Zach Wilson flied out to center to end the game.

The Sun Devils finished with 10 hits, leaving nine runners on base.

“We left guys on and we didn’t execute,” Esmay said. “We had our chances at the end, it came down to execution and we couldn’t get bunts down when we needed to get guys over to have a chance to win.”

Through the first four innings, pitching dominated the game: for ASU, sophomore Jake Barrett, for CSB, junior Tommy Hoenshell.

The Roadrunners struck first in the fifth inning when third baseman DC Legg doubled down the third baseline and drove in second baseman Oscar Sanay, who reached two at-bats earlier on a Riccio Torrez error.

ASU answered back in the bottom of the seventh with three straight two-out singles, capped off by an Austin Barnes RBI knock to right field to tie the game back up at one apiece.

Barrett finished his night going six innings, giving up just one unearned run on three hits.

“He pitched incredibly,” Esmay said. “I thought he pitched outstanding and the way we’ve come to expect him to pitch throughout his time at this program.”

The Sun Devils missed their chance to close out the Roadrunners in the bottom of the ninth.

Torrez led off the inning with a single to right field followed by a Deven Marrero base knock to center two batters later.

After senior left fielder Matt Newman grounded out to second base, Barnes came up to bat again as the last opportunity for the Sun Devils to end the game in regulation.

The catcher flew out to center on a line drive that sent the game into extra innings.

Hoenshell (2-1) was outstanding for the Roadrunners, giving his team nine strong innings of one-run baseball.

“He grinded it out,” Esmay said. “He threw over a hundred pitches and never gave in. He didn’t give us any freebies, didn’t walk guys, he just battled.”

Next up for the Sun Devils are matchups with Northern Illinois, Kansas and UC Riverside on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Surprise Stadium.

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