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ASU Baseball: Devils use late rally to outlast New Mexico

Joey Bielek's two-out RBI single in the eighth gave ASU a win to cap off its 19-game homestand.

Courtesy of ASU Athletics
Courtesy of ASU Athletics

The weather was as ugly as ASU baseball's performance Wednesday night, but the No. 17 Sun Devils muscled through missed chances to beat New Mexico 4-3.

Senior first baseman Joey Bielek starred for the Devils (13-6, 2-1 Pac-12) on a cold, damp Phoenix night, tallying a team-high three hits, including the game-winner in the eighth inning.

Bielek lofted a 2-2 pitch from Lobos pitcher Presto Ryan into shallow centerfield, scoring fellow senior Trever Allen and sending the Sun Devils to their first road trip of the season with a victory.

"I just stayed tight on that one, tried to put the ball in play and poke something hard," Bielek said.

The Sun Devils started right where they left off Sunday against Oregon State, taking the lead in the first inning courtesy of an RBI groundout from sophomore shortstop Colby Woodmansee.

Bielek added to the lead in the second, notching an RBI single, and the next batter, sophomore third baseman David Greer, tallied a sacrifice fly to give the Sun Devils an early three-run lead.

The Sun Devils had chances to break the game open in the fourth and sixth innings, but stranded runners on base and allowed the Lobos (11-7, 5-4 Mountain West) to claw their way back.

"If we would just extend the lead, it becomes a different ballgame and honestly we've done that a lot this year," coach Tracy Smith said. "We've had the chance to put teams away and we don't do it."

Sun Devil freshman starter Ryan Hingst pitched three scoreless innings before being replaced by senior Eric Melbostad, who surrendered a sixth-inning sacrifice fly to pinch hitter Ryan Padilla.

The Lobos struck again in the seventh, this time off the pitching duo of freshman Eli Lingos and senior Darin Gillies.

Lingos was lifted for Gillies with two outs and runners on second and third and the veteran gave up the game-tying single to pinch hitter Jack Zoellner.

Bielek and the Sun Devils struck back in the eighth, much to the expectation of Smith.

"Tonight could have had the same result (as past blown leads), but fortunately it didn't cause we've been in so many games like this our guys just keep their composure and keep battling," Smith said.

17 of the Sun Devils' first 19 games have been decided by three runs or less and tonight's game was their ninth one-run result of the campaign.

Junior closer Ryan Burr allowed the game-tying run to reach third base in the ninth, but staved off the threat to earn his eighth save of the season.

The Sun Devils return to action this weekend in Eugene against Pac-12 foe Oregon.