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ASU Baseball: Canning’s clutch hit propels Sun Devils to Pac-12 opener win over Oregon

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In come-from-behind fashion.

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

The dugout erupted. White jerseys paraded in foul territory, dancing to EDM music or maybe to the tune of junior center fielder Gage Canning’s 3-RBI triple to deep left center field that lifted Arizona State past Oregon, 6-4, in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Sun Devils (9-9, 1-0 Pac-12) trailed for six innings, before a monstrous 5-run eighth that boomeranged ASU to a 7-4 win over the Ducks (12-5, 0-1 Pac-12) Friday night to break their three-game losing streak.

“There’s nobody that we’d want, clearly up there, than that guy,” ASU manager Tracy Smith said of Canning who upped his batting average to .473 after the Oregon win.

ASU had scored three runs in its last three contests. Tonight? It more than doubled that.

“I think we have a good offense and we can hit,” Canning said. “It hasn’t showed up all the time, but we have a good offense.”

Arizona State scored twice in the first inning when freshman first baseman Spencer Torkelson hit an RBI double, scoring in junior outfielder Gage Canning. Then, sophomore left fielder Carter Aldrete punched in Torkelson on an RBI single.

From then on, the Sun Devils were held scoreless until the eighth.

That five-run mega inning came against Oregon’s right-handed junior Parker Kelly and sophomore righty Parker Yovan who had given up four runs in 28 innings prior to Friday.

“Our guys are probably too young and dumb to realize what they just did. But that’s a step in the right direction,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the way we hung in there. I’m proud of the way we bit it off against a quality opponent.”

ASU junior right-hander Sam Romero threw 6 13 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs. The Ducks laced together four two-out base hits to take a 3-2 lead in the third inning, then added another run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Left-handed freshman pitcher Dellan Raish and lefty sophomore Chaz Montoya shutout the Ducks, not allowing a single hit over the final two and two-third innings.

Raish, who’s already managed a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings, received his first win in maroon and gold on Friday.

“Once he comes in, it’s a sigh of relief,” Romero said of Raish. “We know he’s going to get another zero.”

Last season, ASU posted its worst win percentage in season history. The Sun Devils also never won a Friday night game in Pac-12 play.

“This is a new year for us,” Smith said. “Every win is important whether it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but it certainly sets the momentum hopefully for the weekend.”

Arizona State continues its series with Oregon on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Left-handed senior Eli Lingos (2-1, .370 ERA) is expected to start against the Ducks’ sophomore righty James Acuna (2-0, .229 ERA).