Carter Aldrete had three hits against Utah on Thursday, but had not drove in a run. That all changed in the 12th inning in Salt Lake City. Aldrete’s fourth hit, the most pivotal, doubled in Hunter Bishop for the go-ahead run in Arizona State’s (29-7, 11-5 Pac-12) 11-6 win.
Aldrere wasn’t the only one having fun in the 12th. Sam Ferri, Drew Swift and Trevor Hauver drove in four more runs after Aldrete’s double in the 12th to give ASU more of a cushion. Spencer Torkelson was 0-for-5 before he extended his now 21-game hitting streak with a two-run homer.
Arizona State ace Alec Marsh dealt another gem for his team. Although, the Sun Devils nearly wasted his one-run, seven-inning performance against Utah (11-20, 3-13).
Marsh had his way with the Ute lineup as he surrendered three hits, walked two and struck out five. The only Ute that had a solid day versus Marsh was second baseman Oliver Dunn. Dunn singled and walked in his first two plate appearances before he homered in the sixth to put Utah on the board. Unfazed, Marsh pitched another scoreless inning after before his exit.
As Marsh left, the struggles came again for the Sun Devil bullpen.
Right-handed Sam Romero entered and retired the first batter he faced. He then walked and hit a batter. He was replaced by Erik Tolman. Tolman struck out a batter and walked another to load the bases. Head coach Tracy Smith made another change as righty Brady Corrigan entered with the bases loaded up two runs. His four balls cut the lead in half, but kept the lead after he induced a fly out to left.
Corrigan quickly left after two batters in the ninth. A double and a walk led to Smith going to Chaz Montoya to try and get the win. Instead, Montoya continued the theme of lack of command. He walked the bases loaded. He struck out Dunn, but the Utes scored on a sac-fly on the next play.
With two outs with a one-run lead, Montoya didn’t close it out. A single from right fielder Erick Migueles tied it in the ninth. Freshman righty Blake Burzell sent things to extras with a strikeout after he was handed to ball to relive Montoya.
The Sun Devil bats finally got to Utah starter left-handed Riley Pierce in the fifth. Sophomores second baseman Swift and left fielder Hauver belted back-to-back doubles to net ASU two runs. Third baseman Gage Workman singled earlier and later scored on Swift’s double after he stole second.
Pierce avoided a much larger inning, however. The Utes decided to intentionally walk first baseman Torkelson. Center fielder Hunter Bishop and shortstop Alika Williams flew out to end the frame.
Tolman, who started had the designated hitter position, drove in a run in the eighth. Williams also gave the bullpen an insurance run with a RBI-single in the ninth, but in the end it didn’t matter.
The Sun Devils will attempt to clinch the series on Saturday with a 5:00 p.m. start against the Utes.