(Tempe, AZ) – Brett Wallace was huge for Arizona State, but Stony Brook would not give up in a thrilling game that bounced back and forth all night Friday.
3,425 baseball fans enjoyed a great game on a marvelous night that featured five lead changes before a thrilling end to a Stony Brook rally wrapped up the game for Arizona State in the ninth.
Freshman Matt Newman started the game and looked good for ASU, but after putting down the first five Stony Brook batters in order, the Seawolves put together a two out rally in the second to tie the game. In the third Stony Brook kept at it took the lead and made ASU go to the bullpen first.
However 12 walks by Stony Brook pitchers gave ASU too many opportunities. Combine that with 11 hits including a blast off the bat of Brett Wallace that cleared not only the fence in right field but also likely the median on Rural Road on its trajectory out of the park. ASU looked good offensively but Stony Brook hung all night and never looked out of the game.
Michael Barbot and Tommy Rafferty eventually stopped the scoring in the later innings before the real excitement in ninth. The Seawolves mounted the comeback and looked to go on a run as outs proved elusive and an error put the tying run on base. But with no outs and men on first and second base, Rafferty spun and captured catcher Justin Echevarria leaning too far towards third base anticipating a bunt opportunity for the first out of the inning. Then instead of Chad Marshall bunting to sacrifice the runners over he lined out to Brett Wallace who threw to first to double up Brian Witkowski, and with that the game was over.
Proving he deserved to be the Pac-10 player of the year for the second straight year, Brett Wallace finished the game 4 for 5 with the home run, 3 runs scored, 3 RBI’s and 1 stolen base. In addition his only out was a ground ball shot in the seventh that Stony Brook second baseman Marshall dove deep in the gap to knock down and flip to first base just in time to record the out.
Stony Brook impressed me wit their tenacity and a never quit mentality. They looked a little star stuck in the beginning of the game and the ASU crowd was loud throughout the contest. But the Seawolves kept at it all night long and just kept answering ever time ASU looked like they were going to put the game out of reach. Fantastic performance in my book despite the loss.