No. 8 ASU baseball prevails against New Mexico State 6-5 in extra innings

Hauver was walked with the based loaded in extra innings to score the go-ahead run

No. 8 ASU baseball survived in extra innings on Tuesday night, defeating New Mexico State 6-5 on a walk-off walk in the 10th inning in Phoenix.

ASU sophomore left-hander Erik Tolman began the game walking the bases loaded in the top of the first after recording one out. He got out of the jam by striking two batters out looking to strand the runners.

"It's funny," head coach Tracy Smith said. "I walked up to him in the dugout and said, 'You just showed how good you are ... you worked your way out of it and made it look easy.'"

Junior third baseman Gage Workman hit a single to right-center field to score junior first baseman Spencer Torkelson, who was walked earlier in the inning, to get the Sun Devils on the board in the bottom of the first.

After going scoreless the next five innings, junior left fielder Trevor Hauver drove junior shortstop Alika Williams home on a single to right-center field to double ASU's lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh.

Tolman held the Aggies scoreless through 5.1 innings pitched, ending the night with eight strikeouts while allowing just one hit on 91 pitches.

"Last year, I'd get in 1-0s and 2-0s," Tolman said. "This year, I'm more focused on getting ahead and throwing more strikes. My whole goal is to get ahead (and) take it a pitch at a time."

Freshman right-hander Cam Dennie made his fifth appearance of his career in relief of Tolman. Dennie forced each of the five batters he faced to groundout and was substituted for freshman left-hander Graham Osman to start the eighth.

After Osman walked the leadoff batter, Aggies redshirt senior outfielder Daniel Head doubled to left-center to record an RBI with no outs in the eighth to reduce ASU's lead to one.

"At this point, we're taking the freshman tag off of them because they're going to be the bullpen," Smith said of the freshman pitchers. "It's nice to see young guys come in there and compete at this level."

Freshman right-hander Bryce Barnett, who came in relief for Osman, struck out two batters before ASU put junior closing pitcher RJ Dabovich on the mound.

After a strikeout and an intentional walk, a line drive from Aggies redshirt senior catcher Jason Bush to right field flew over the head of junior outfielder Drew Swift, allowing the Aggies to score two runs to take a 3-2 advantage. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Williams hit a triple to deep left-center field, scoring freshman left-hander Danny Marshall and sophomore center fielder Dusty Garcia to retake the lead 4-3.

"Tonight, I just simplified everything," Williams said. "It definitely helps a lot (to) get a couple hits on the board, for sure."

A sacrifice fly to right field from Hauver brought home Williams from third base to put ASU up 5-3 to cap off the bottom of the eighth.

After NMSU sophomore second baseman Kevin Jimenez began the ninth inning with a leadoff triple, Dabovich balked to score Jimenez, cutting ASU's lead to 5-4.

After walking two batters and recording two outs, an error by Torkelson at first allowed NMSU to score a game-tying run and keep its hopes alive.

ASU was unable to score a walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

Consecutive infield errors by the Aggies set the Sun Devils up with two men on and no outs in the bottom of the 10th.

After intentionally walking Torkelson to load the bases, Hauver was walked to send freshman outfielder Seth Nager home to win the game for ASU.

"It's a hard-fought win," Smith said. "(New Mexico State is) a good team. We allowed them to creep back in with the walks late ... it's good to see a little bit of adversity where you think you've got the game."

ASU (6-3) will kick-off a three-game home series against Nebraska (1-5) on Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. MST at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.


Reach the reporter at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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