ASU Plays Gonzaga To Time-Shortened Tie

The Sun Devils went 3-0-1 on the weekend. - ASU Athletics

Few could have predicted the Sun Devils would take both games from Arkansas this weekend, but it was surely impossible to guess that Arizona State would end its final game in a tie.

After sweeping the first three games of the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, the Arizona State Sun Devils finished the weekend in a rather unconventional way.

Despite holding a secure lead throughout the game, the Sun Devils allowed five runs in the eighth inning and stumbled to a time-shortened 6-6 tie with the Bulldogs.

The original 4 p.m. start time for Sunday's game was pushed back to 5 p.m. after a Cactus League spring training game ran long.

Subsequently, the Bulldogs' travel arrangements were in jeopardy, which left the teams with less than three hours to complete a full baseball game.

Rumors swirled throughout the game that the Bulldogs had a flight to catch at the Phoenix International Airport, and those speculations were realized when the teams walked off the field after the completion of the eighth inning.

With the knowledge of time constraints being a factor, the Sun Devil offense opened the game accordingly.

Arizona State junior Kasey Coffman led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to straight away right field that gave the Sun Devils an early 1-0 lead.

Sophomore Nate Causey followed that up with an RBI single and junior Michael Benjamin added an infield hit and an RBI to give Arizona State a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

The Sun Devils wasted little time in adding to the lead as Trevor Allen launched a monster triple high off the center field wall to score James McDonald in the bottom of the third inning. Nathaniel Causey's sacrifice fly scored Allen moments later to give Arizona State a 5-0 advantage.

Sun Devil starting pitcher Adam McCreery frustrated Bulldog hitters until a controversial double that appeared to be a foul ball put Mitchell Gunsolus at third base. Then, Cory Lebrun's sacrifice fly scored Gunsolus to make it a 5-1 game.

With time slipping away in the eighth inning, the Bulldogs staged an impressive rally to take the lead. 10 Bulldog hitters came to the plate including Brock Slavin whose line drive off the leg of Sun Devil reliever Alex Blackford tied the game at 5-5. Later in the inning, Blackford hit Halcomb with a pitch that allowed the go-ahead run to score for Gonzaga.

With his team trailing 6-5, Trevor Allen led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a majestic home run to left field that tied the score.

However, after the Sun Devils were retired in the eighth, the coaches convened and decided to call the game as the Bulldogs had imminent travel arrangements.

The mark of 6-6 after eight innings stands as the final score for what turned out to be an exciting and bizarre conclusion.

With the tie, the Sun Devils move to 7-2-1 on the weekend, but they will be disappointed that they could not pull off a weekend sweep.

Arizona State did take both matchups against No. 2 Arkansas, and the maroon and gold will look to build on the success next weekend as they host the Long Beach State Dirtbags in a three-game series.

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