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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils take wild series opener over UA

ASU scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning in the least predictable way.

Sophomore starter Brett Lilek threw seven innings to pick up his first victory since March 28th.
Sophomore starter Brett Lilek threw seven innings to pick up his first victory since March 28th.
(Courtesy of ASU Athletics)

Few saw what happened, but everyone will remember it.

UA sophomore reliever Cody Moffett tossed an appeal throw over third base and into the ASU baseball dugout, allowing the game-winning run to score and giving the Sun Devils (22-16, 11-8 Pac-12) a 2-1 victory in the opening game of the annual Territorial Cup series.

Moffett allowed a sacrifice fly to Sun Devil sophomore designated hitter R.J. Ybarra with the Wildcats leading 1-0 in the seventh inning, but challenged that the runner on third, sophomore outfielder Johnny Sewald, had left the base early.

Moffett's throw sailed high, negating any chance of an appeal and allowed the runner behind Sewald, junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz, to score the go-ahead run after the Sun Devils hadn't scored in their past 20 innings.

Sun Devil sophomore starter Brett Lilek pitched seven innings and allowed just one unearned run to pick up his first victory since March 28th and was grateful for Moffett's miscue.

"That was a bonehead play that cost them the game," Lilek said. "Bottom line, that's it."

Lilek (4-2) kept the Sun Devils in the game all night, allowing his only run in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout from freshman designated hitter Bobby Dalbec.

"Any time you get the chance to win a ballgame it's a good feeling," Lilek said.

Sun Devil head coach Tim Esmay was equally as impressed with his sophomore lefty.

"He pitched well," Esmay said. "He was making big pitches and got really efficient."

The Wildcats (17-24, 6-13) put the leadoff runner on base in each of the last three innings following Moffett's mistake, but were unable to bring the tying run home and sophomore closer Ryan Burr picked up his ninth save of the season.

The Sun Devils need just one win over the final two games of the series to secure the Territorial Cup point and Esmay, who admitted he had never seen a play like Moffett's before, was happy to leave with a victory.

"We've got to go again tomorrow, but we'll take it," Esmay said.

The Sun Devils return to action against the Wildcats tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.