Hunter Bishop’s double in the fifth inning topped off a four-run frame and set Arizona State up with an eight-run lead. Southern Mississippi answered back with four runs of its own. The other star slugger Spencer Torkelson added back to ASU’s lead with a two-run blast, his 23rd of the season.
That was still not enough to keep the Sun Devils’ season alive. Leadoff hitter Gabe Montenegro pushed a single through the right-side of the infield to send the Golden Eagles off to a 13-12 walk off victory.
Southern Mississippi scored seven runs in the final two innings to extend its season.
ASU starter Boyd Vander Kooi’s stat line doesn’t show what he gave head coach Tracy Smith on the mound. With a large lead, Vander Kooi went 7.2 innings in an attempt to save the bullpen with the hopes of a second game on Sunday. Smith lifted him for Brady Corrigan with two outs and two men on.
Corrigan’s first pitch was lifted out for a three-run home run to trim the lead in half. As second baseman Matthew Guidry touched home plate, the Golden Eagles had life again.
USM started the ninth with back-to-back singles against Corrigan leading to his exit. Smith replaced him with Blake Burzell, but quickly it was evident he didn’t have it. He walked the first batter on four pitches and hit the next batter to let a run in.
Chaz Montoya came in as a last hope to hold ASU’s season. A sacrifice fly and a strikeout had Montoya an out away from a disaster. Instead he allowed a single to Montenegro and the final two runs ended the 2019 campaign for the Sun Devils.
Torkelson, left fielder Trevor Hauver, shortstop Alika Williams and catcher Lyle Lin all had multi-hit games.
Stay tuned for House of Sparky’s coverage of the MLB Draft in the upcoming days.