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Arizona 7, Arizona State 6: Wildcats win thriller to win season series against the Sun Devils

Wildcats > Sun Devils

Joseph Maggi scored the eventual game-winning run Sunday against Arizona State to cap off a big series for the sophomore first baseman
Joseph Maggi scored the eventual game-winning run Sunday against Arizona State to cap off a big series for the sophomore first baseman
Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

In a back-and-forth duel in Tempe, the Wildcats pulled out a 7-6 victory to win the season series against the Sun Devils.

Tyler Crawford got the ball for the Cats, two days after coming on to save Friday's victory.

He went over 100 pitches for the first time in his career, going 7 1/3 innings, and allowing six runs (four earned). Most of the scoring by both teams was done from the bottom of the second through the top of the 5th, with 11 of the game's 13 runs in that time frame.

"You're running on adrenaline out there, and you're doing what you can" said Crawford.

But Crawford battled through it, while the ASU pitchers could not. The Sun Devils went through seven pitchers on the day as they knew that this game was make-or-break for their chances of hosting a regional.

In the top of the eighth inning, Brandon Dixon delivered the eventual game-winning hit, driving in Joseph Maggi from second on a liner to left.

Mathew Troupe came on in the bottom of the eighth, but his struggles continued, managing to only get one out before being replaced by Augey Bill.

Bill got the last out of the eighth, and went back out for the ninth.

ASU led off the inning with a single, and then put down a sac bunt to advance him to second. But Bill misplayed the bunt, giving the Sun Devils two runners on with no out.

Another sac bunt attempt from James McDonald did not pan out as well for the Devils as he hit it right at Maggi, who gunned down the lead runner at third.

An Augey Bill walk loaded the bases, which brought out pitching coach Shaun Cole to talk to the infield.

"I told him to talk about a come-backer, just make sure we have throwing lanes" said head coach Andy Lopez.

Well, as fate would have it, Augey Bill had the ball hit right at him.

"As soon as it came back to me I knew, turn the double play and you'll win the game" said Bill. "At first I started going to second base because that's just instincts...I slowed down, said go to home, get the out for sure.....and then Riley (Moore) made a nice play, turned the double play and ended the game."

"I'm going to stop and buy a lotto ticket on the way home" said Lopez.

"You wanna talk about the thing that's probably not gonna happen....we gotta talk about the come backer so we know exactly what we're doing."

That move paid off in a big, big way for the Cats, who improve to 12-15 in PAC-12 play. Next weekend, USC comes to Tucson for the last series of the regular season.