Tigers Offense Too Strong for ASU

Tigers Offense Too Strong for ASU

TEMPE, Ariz. – The University of the Pacific baseball team's offense heated up the Arizona State University Sun Devils to claim a 12-7 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers improve to 20-27 overall, while ASU falls to 20-28 on the season.

The bats started flying right away for both teams in the opening inning. Bradley Jekich led off for Pacific with a double to center field. With one out, James Free II singled to right field to push Jekich to third. Alex LeForestier placed a single down the left field line to score Jekich for the 1-0 lead.

The Sun Devils responded in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead over the Tigers. Spencer Torkelson led off and was walked to reach first. With two outs, Lyle Lin singled to left field to place Torkelson in the tying run position. Hunter Jump singled up the middle which allowed Torkelson to score and tie the game, 1-1, and moved Lin to second. Taylor Lane drove in the leading run with a single to second to give ASU a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the second, Pacific kept the momentum going. With one out, Matthew Tarantino was walked to start. Keaton Glover and Jekich followed suit and were walked with two outs to land on base. Kevin Sandri stepped up and hit a two-run single to right field to score Glover and Tarantino for the 3-2 lead. Free continued the on-base streak, reaching first on a throwing error by ASU and advanced to second on the error, which allowed Jekich to score for a 4-2 lead.

However, the Sun Devils answered in the bottom of the second with four runs to take a two-run lead over the Tigers, 6-4. Alika Williams hit a leadoff double to right center followed by a two-out double by Torkelson to score Williams. Gage Canning hit a triple to right center to score Torkelson. Carter Aldrete closed out the inning with a solo home run to left center to take the 6-4 lead. The Sun Devils went on to score one run in the bottom of the third to lead 7-4.

From there, Pacific went on to score four runs in the fourth that started with a single by Sandri followed by a two-run homer to left field by Free to bring the Tigers within one at 7-6. Pacific closed out the inning on a fielding error by ASU that allowed Carter Hayes to score for the final run and lead 8-7.

The Tigers scored one run in the fifth and three in the ninth to claim the 12-7 victory.

"It was an amazing team performance and I am proud of this effort," said head coach Ryan Garko. "We didn't play all that well, but we showed enough grit and determination to win against a very, very good PAC-12 opponent."

Pacific notched 14 hits with 12 runs and nine RBI.

Free led the offense with three RBI in three hits with two runs scored. Sandri was right behind with two RBI in three hits with three runs scored. Jekich, Hayes, and Nate Verlin all tallied two hits, while Jekich scored three runs and Hayes had one run. LeForestier and Tarantino round out the hitters with one hit each. LeForestier, Hayes, Tarantino, and Tyler Ryan all registered a RBI, as well.

On the mound, Shelby Lackey picked up the win and improved to 6-3. Lackey pitched six innings giving up just one run with eight strikeouts. Brady Corrigan (0-5) was charged with the loss after pitching 1.1 innings.

The Tigers close out the series with Arizona State on Monday, May 14 with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. before closing out the season against West Coast Conference opponent Brigham Young University on Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19.