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Freshmen prove key in ninth as No. 21 baseball beats Wichita State, 4-3

April 03, 2013

Freshman RJ Ybarra knocked a two-out RBI single through the middle in the top of the ninth inning to push the 21st-ranked Arizona State University baseball team to a 4-3 win over Wichita State on April 2 at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kan.

Catcher Max Rossiter took a leadoff walk to start the ninth and right fielder Trever Allensingled two batters later to put the tying run on second. Following a strikeout by shortstopDrew Stankiewicz, Ybarra scored Rossiter on the game-winning single for just his second RBI of the season.

Freshman right-handed closer Ryan Burr (6) struck out two in the ninth and stranded a WSU base runner at third as he induced a popup to first base for the final out of the game to secure his sixth save of the season. Burr is now tied with Ryan Bradley (1995) for fourth on the school's freshman saves list.

Right-hander Alex Blackford (3-0) faced only one batter, but prompted a flyout to center field with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to preserve the 3-3 tie and earn his third win of the season.

Seven different Sun Devils (16-8-1) collected a base knock, including five that recorded a pair, to guide an offense that tallied 12 hits, and five pitchers combined to strand 14 Shockers (16-13) on base, including three times with the bases loaded. 

Allen knocked a two-out RBI single into right field to score center fielder Kasey Coffman from third and a fielding error by the Shockers outfielder allowed second baseman James McDonald to score from second as the Sun Devils jumped out to a two-run lead in the top of the first inning.

McDonald made a diving stop with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third to end the frame tied at two after WSU scored a pair on two singles, a double and a walk. ASU retook the lead in the fourth inning, 3-2, on a single by first baseman David Graybill and an RBI double down the right-field line by Coffman.

Starting right-hander Billy Young went five innings in his first start of the season and allowed two runs on six hits and four walks while striking out a pair. Left-hander Matt Dunbar pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three.

Freshman right-hander Eric Melbostad replaced Young in the sixth inning and conceded three consecutive hits as the Shockers tied it again, this time at three runs apiece. Dunbar took over for Melbostad with runners on second and third and two outs, and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases before striking out designated hitter Johnny Coy to keep the score knotted, 3-3.

WSU starting left-hander Drew Palmer gave up two runs, including one earned, on three hits and was chased from the game after three innings. Left-hander Albert Minnis (2-2) went three innings and took the loss after surrendering the winning run in the ninth.

Up Next:
The Sun Devils finish out their midweek tilt against Wichita State at 4:30 p.m. PT, April 3. The game will be streamed online and broadcast over the Internet through Fans can also follow the team on Twitter at @ASU_Baseball for live scoring and updates from the weekend, and check for stats, notes and more.

Game Notes:
Sun Devils move to 14-7 all-time against Wichita State...ASU set a season-high with 14 runners left on base...this was second career start for Young (March 28, 2012 vs. Cal State Fullerton - 3.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, L).