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No. 24 Baseball downs No. 2 Arkansas in Surprise

March 01, 2013

Freshman left-hander Brett Lilek allowed just one run in his first career start and second baseman James McDonald recorded a pair of RBI to lead the 24th-ranked Arizona State University baseball team to a 3-2 win over No. 2 Arkansas on Feb. 28 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz.

Lilek (0-1) struck out six and did not walk a batter in five innings to earn his first career win. He scattered seven hits, but stranded a total of eight Razorbacks on base, including twice with the bases loaded.

After the Sun Devils (5-2) took a one-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, Lilek allowed three consecutive singles to start the second frame, but struck out the next three batters in a row to escape the inning unscathed.

McDonald led the way offensively with two RBI and a season-high two hits to extend his team-leading hitting streak to seven games. Catcher Max Rossiter added a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored.

He put ASU ahead in the bottom of the first with an RBI single after center fielder Kasey Coffman led off the frame with a base hit, and added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double to score Rossiter from first base.

Rossiter extended the Devils' lead to two in the bottom of the third on an RBI single to right field that scored left fielder Jake Peevyhouse, who walked, moved to second on an off-target throw and reached third on an error.

Lilek again loaded the bases in the fifth inning with one out after the Razorbacks (7-2) cut the ASU lead to one, 2-1, but he induced a pop-up and groundout to keep the Devils' advantage intact. 

Right-hander Alex Blackford pitched a scoreless sixth inning before freshman right-hander Ryan Burr (1) closed out the final three frames to earn his first career save and the first save of the season for ASU.

Burr struck out the first batter he faced in the seventh inning and allowed just one run on one hit in three innings while striking out four. A leadoff single and a walk in the ninth, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a groundout, brought home a run for Arkansas to bring them within one, but Burr induced a flyout to secure the win.

Arkansas starting right-hander Ryne Stanek (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season after he surrendered two runs, including one earned, on five hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Up Next:
The Sun Devils take on Pacific at 4 p.m. (MT) on March 1 at Surprise Stadium. The game is the latter half of a doubleheader with the Cactus League as the Cincinnati Reds face the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m. Follow the team on Twitter at @ASU_Baseball for live scoring and updates from the weekend, and check for stats, notes and more.

Pitching Matchup

 ASU - Jr. RHP Trevor Williams (1-0, 1.50)
UP - RS-Jr. LHP John Haberman (0-0, 5.40)

Game Notes: The last time ASU beat the No. 2 team in the country was March 16, 2011, with a 6-4 home win over Oklahoma...McDonald has notched a hit in all seven games this season...Michael Benjamin and Rossiter both extended their hitting streaks to six games...McDonald has three go-ahead RBI this season...the Sun Devils did not allow an extra-base hit for the fourth game this Esmay is one win away from his 350th career Esmay moves to 58-13 all-time against non-conference foes.

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