ASU Baseball: Sun Devils rally late for third consecutive conference victory

Junior second baseman Drew Stankiewicz had two hits and two RBIs in the win. - (Jason Wise/ASU Athletics)

ASU scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to overcome a blown lead in the top of the inning to win.

Newton's Third Law of Motion was in full effect Friday night at Packard Stadium.

ASU baseball scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after blowing its two-run lead in the top of the inning to defeat USC 5-3 and pick up its third consecutive victory.

"We've had those games and we've done a good job of cleaning that up and winning at the end," Esmay said.

The Sun Devils (16-11, 6-4 Pac-12) led 3-1 entering the top of the eighth, but ran into trouble when sophomore reliever Jordan Aboites loaded the bases with one out.

Aboites was pulled for sophomore closer Ryan Burr, who allowed the tying runs to score following a fielder's choice and wild pitch with two outs.

Sun Devil coach Tim Esmay was upset his team blew the late lead, especially since the Sun Devils had numerous chances early.

"We let them hang around," Esmay said. "We had an opportunity early with guys on base in the first two innings . We really had a chance to break that thing open."

The Sun Devils rallied in the bottom of the inning, though.

Sophomore outfielder Johnny Sewald blooped a single to left then redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen walked with two outs.

The next batter, junior first baseman Nate Causey, singled home Sewald for his first conference RBI of the season and gave the Sun Devils the lead for good.

"Causey has been our guy," Esmay said. "He struggled a little bit last weekend but made some adjustments this week, got his swing back and had a good at-bat."

Freshman catcher Brian Serven followed Causey's at-bat with an RBI single of his own to finish the scoring and Esmay was pleased with his team's late resiliency.

"They answered back, especially with two outs and nobody on," Esmay said.

The eighth-inning rally for the Trojans (14-14, 3-7) spoiled a strong outing from sophomore starter Brett Lilek, who allowed just one run in 5 2/3 innings.

"He (Lilek) kind of came out a little passive and them 'boom' got on it and had a quality start for us," Esmay said.

Burr picked up the victory to improve to 3-2 on the season and the Sun Devils have now won six of their past seven games.

The Sun Devils and Trojans return to action tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.

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