After playing 19 games at home to open the season, Arizona State finally got a taste of what baseball is like away from the friendly and sunny confines of Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday night.
The Sun Devils battled their way through high winds and heavy rain for four and a half hours, finally breaking through in the 10th inning to top Oregon, 7-6.
Right-hander Seth Martinez got the start on the mound for the maroon and gold but was chased early after a nightmare of a third inning. The sophomore issued two walks, a double, and a pair of singles en route to a four run frame for the Ducks.
Arizona State got its comeback started in the top half of the fourth, the rally being set in motion on a leadoff single from designated hitter R.J. Ybarra. The next two batters were retired by Oregon starter Conor Harber, but Ybarra was able to move into scoring position on a wild pitch. That set the table for Joey Bielek, who promptly doubled to deep right field to bring in the run.
The fourth inning ended up just being a small taste of what was to come from the Sun Devil offense. The team brought ten batters to the plate in the fifth, plating five runs to make the score 6-4. David Greer had the biggest at bat, driving in a pair of runs on a shot back up the middle with two outs to break the tie.
A solo home run off reliever Jordan Aboites gave the Ducks some life in the bottom of the seventh, and they then loaded the bases in their half of the eighth. Closer Ryan Burr was brought in out of the bullpen to deal with the threat, but a four pitch walk tied the game at six. The ever unpredictable Burr ended up working his way out of the jam with a strikeout against the following batter, leaving the bases full for the second straight inning.
After a scoreless ninth inning, Greer was hit by a pitch to open the 10th. He moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt, and that brought Johnny Sewald to the plate. Sewald hit a routine fly ball into shallow right field, but Scott Heineman struggled to get a read on it through the heavy rain that was coming down. His diving attempt came up just short, and Greer had already easily scored from second by the time the ball got back to the infield.
The home team escaped any further damage thanks to a baserunning blunder later in the inning by Sewald, but reliever Eric Melbostad came in and shut the door in the bottom half of the frame. The right-hander, throwing for just the second time all year, got the Ducks to go down in order to preserve the victory.
Melbostad picked up the save, his first of the year, and Burr (4-0) ended up with the win. Stephen Nogosek (4-1) ended up getting charged with the loss for Oregon.
Arizona State improved to 14-6 with the win and is now 3-1 in Pac-12 play. The Ducks fell to 14-7 (1-3), and have now lost five of their last six. The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. PST.