POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
FULLERTON, Calif. – Zack Tax came on and threw five innings of no-hit baseball in relief, but the Arizona State Sun Devils scored 10 runs in the first four innings to defeat Columbia, 10-5, Sunday at Goodwin Field. The loss eliminates Columbia from the NCAA Tournament.
“I’m extremely proud of my guys, it’s been a tremendous season for us,” said head coach Brett Boretti after the game. “I thought Zack did tremendous job of giving us a shot to get back into the game throwing up zeros.”
Tax came on in the fifth frame and faced 16 batters, sending 15 back to the dugout and walking just one.
“A little bit of everything was working today, slider was breaking, change-up was good,” commented Tax when asked postgame what went well for him on the mound.
Columbia out-hit ASU 12-5, but nine Sun Devil runs over the third and fourth innings proved to be too much to overcome, as the Lions left 13 runners on base.
For the third straight game, the Lions’ opponent tallied the first run. Arizona State needed just one pitch to get on the board, as Kasey Coffman sent the first pitch of the game over the right center wall.
Columbia responded though, plating a pair in the bottom half of the frame to go up 2-1. Jordan Serena was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch and then moved around to third on an Alex Black single. Designated hitter Joey Falcone brought both of them home with a laser of a double down the right field line.
The Lions held that 2-1 advantage until the top of the third when the Sun Devils bats exploded for six runs. ASU loaded the bases with no outs with Michael Benjamin knocking a double down the left field line to bring home two base runners. James McDonald drove in a couple more with a hard-hit single. Nathaniel Causey accounted for the final two RBI of the frame, hitting his fifth homer of the season over the right field wall.
Columbia got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Silbar drilled a single through the left side that was misplayed by the Sun Devils’ left fielder, giving Falcone the opportunity to score from second.
The fourth inning saw the ASU offense add a trio of runs to the scoreboard, as Benjamin, McDonald and Max Rossiter all recorded a RBI.
In the bottom of the fifth, Columbia closed the deficit to five, scoring two runs. Nick Ferraresi and Silbar opened the inning with back-to-back singles and then each moved up a base on Vandercook’s sacrifice bunt. Nick Crucet drove a deep fly ball to right field where it was caught, but it allowed Ferraresi to score. Catcher Mike Fischer brought home Silbar, slashing a single to center to bring the score to 10-5.
That would do it for the scoring though, as neither team would score another run the rest of the way.
Ferraresi led the Columbia offense, going 3-for-5, while Black, Falcone, Silbar and Fischer each registered two hits.
FULLERTON ALL-REGIONAL TEAM
Catcher: Mitch Garver, New Mexico
First Base: Alex Black, Columbia
Second Base: Jake Jefferies, Cal State Fullerton
Third Base: Matt Chapman, Cal State Fullerton
Shortstop: Jared Holley, New Mexico
Outfield: Kasey Coffman, Arizona State
Outfield: Michael Lorenzen, Cal State Fullerton
Outfield: Nick Ferraresi, Columbia
DH: J.D. Davis, Cal State Fullerton
Pitcher: Grahamm Wiest, Cal State Fullerton
Pitcher: Justin Garza (MVP), Cal State Fullerton