ASU baseball uses five-run eighth inning to fuel comeback win over Oregon

The Sun Devils earned a confidence-building victory to open up Pac-12 play

ASU baseball scored five runs in the eighth to come from behind to beat the University of Oregon Ducks, 7-4 on Friday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

"This is one of those wins you like to get, maybe it gets you jump started a little bit," Head Coach Tracy Smith said.

With the win, the Sun Devils (9-9, 1-0) ended a three-game losing streak.

Redshirt freshman Dellan Raish picked up his first win of the season and sophomore Chaz Montoya picked up his fifth save.

"It felt great," Raish said. "Just went out there and did my job."

Canning Leads Comeback

The bats finally woke up in the eighth inning. ASU batted around the lineup and scored five runs to secure the lead.

With the bases loaded and two outs junior center fielder Gage Canning, who leads the team with a .473 batting average, drove a three-RBI bases clearing triple, his seventh of the season and the 21st of his career, and ASU led 6-4.

"The first pitch was a fastball away, and the next pitch was also a fastball but it just caught more of the plate," Canning said.

Freshman right fielder Hunter Jump singled with one out to put runners on first and second. Freshman pinch hitter Trevor Hauver and freshman shortstop Drew Swift worked walks to set up Canning's heroics.

"There is nobody, clearly that we would want up there at that time other than that guy (Canning)," Smith said. "Those other guys threw together some really good at-bats to get it to that point."

ASU Wastes Early Opportunities

The Sun Devils got on the board quickly in the first. Freshman first baseman Spencer Torkelson drove a run in with a RBI double, and sophomore left fielder Carter Aldrete followed with a RBI single, giving ASU a 2-0 lead.

"We left a few guys on the bases early, but that is baseball and that is a good team," Smith said.

Keeping His Team In It

ASU junior starter Sam Romero was efficient early on. He retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, mixing speeds and locations with both his fastball and breaking ball. 

"I had a little bump in the third inning," Romero said. "(I) just didn't make the quality pitches, didn't put the hitters away when I had to, (but I) just bounced back and did my best to keep the team in it."

But the Ducks figured him out quickly. Three straight singles and a two-RBI double by sophomore first baseman Gabe Matthews gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead. The Ducks scored another run on an error in the fourth.

But he settled down, pitching a scoreless fifth and sixth.

"Your job as a pitcher is to keep the opposition from scoring, even after they have scored," Smith said. "It was good to see him settle in ... for us to have a chance this weekend we had to get five or six out of Sammy."

Romero pitched into the seventh inning and gave up three earned runs in total.

Raish and Montoya kept the Ducks' bats cold for the final 2.2 innings, and the Sun Devils earned a huge come-from-behind win to open up Pac-12 play.

"It was finally nice to see something go our way a little bit," Smith said. "We're happy with the win, we'll feel good about this for a while, but we've got to refocus and get back at it."

Up Next

ASU and Oregon will square off in game two of the series at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 17.  

Reach the reporter at or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.