ASU Baseball: Sun Devils walk off against Cal in 10 after thinking they did in 9

ASU baseball thought it had a game-winner in the bottom of the ninth only to be waved off by an interference call.

It's not often the home crowd gets to celebrate two walk-off winners, but that's what happened Friday night in Tempe.

When the lights turned off, Arizona State beat Cal 3-2, but it was a roundabout way of getting there.

Arizona State (18-13, 8-5 Pac-12) won the game in 10 innings on a single by sophomore left fielder Christopher Beall, but an interference call in the bottom of the ninth nixed the first time the Sun Devils thought they won and Packard Stadium erupted.

The first celebration happened with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale hit a bases-loaded chopper to the right side of the infield. As Cal second baseman Brenden Farney was reaching up to make the play, he was interfered with by Sun Devil junior first baseman Nate Causey.

The ball tricked into the outfield scoring sophomore center fielder Johnny Sewald, but the umpire signaled interference and the Sun Devils' celebration was halted. According to the rules on interference, it becomes a dead ball and all runners return to their bases.

Freshman catcher Brian Serven then bounced back to the pitcher to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.

"They got the call right," ASU coach Tim Esmay said. "All Causey really needed to do probably was stop and try to get into a rundown and now the game's over."

ASU worked through the top half of the 10th, then Beall knocked in junior right fielder Jake Peevyhouse on a single to right field to finish off the Golden Bears (14-16, 3-7 Pac-12).

"I wasn't trying to get a hit, I was trying to move (Peevyhouse) over to third base and let the guys behind me do the job and get him in," Beall said. "We thought we had it (in the ninth), and we believe we did, but once that third out was in the ninth inning, we decided we were going to go out and we have to win it in the next inning and we did."

Baseball has a funny way of working out. Peevyhouse was only on second because of an error by Farney, the second baseman who was interfered with to extend the game an inning earlier.

And the game was only in that situation because of the play of Jordan Aboites.

The sophomore right-hander took the mound in the ninth for his second inning of work in a tie game. He allowed the first two batters to reach, then stayed in the game to face the third hitter.

In an obvious bunt scenario, Aboites, who has played eight games at shortstop, got to play like an infielder. The ball was bunted back to him, and he flew off the mound, collected the ball and threw to third to get the force out.

"He's made that play three or four times or us this year," Esmay said.

He then retired the next two batters to end the inning.

"I've done well fielding those bunts," Aboites said. "After I got that guy at third, it really just kind of pumped me up for the inning and I knew I could just throw to my spots and let the defense take care of it."

It was a big start for Sun Devil sophomore left-hander Brett Lilek in that he did not walk a batter. Prior to Friday's start, Lilek had issued 15 free passes in his last four outings, including five on March 21 at Oregon State.

Friday night he completed seven innings, giving up only two runs on six hits and struck out five.

Arizona State and Cal return to action Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Packard Stadium with ASU looking to clinch its fourth-consecutive series win.

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