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Montana Durapau [Photo: Jason Wise]
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Sun Devils Finish Wildcats in 11-Inning Struggle, 5-4

Courtesy: BCUathletics.com           Release: 02/15/2013

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Big offensive plays from a pair of newcomers gave B-CU the edge in grabbing the lead twice in Friday night's tight season-opener with No. 16 Arizona State at Packard Stadium, but the Wildcats were unable to fight off the third rally from the Sun Devils, who ground down B-CU's bullpen in the 11th inning for the 5-4 win.

"I was very excited going into the game," Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. "I wanted to see how we would react against a very good baseball team. I was extremely pleased."

After a pitchers' struggle early, Arizona State was first to put its mark on the board in the bottom of the third, with Drew Stankiewicz collecting the Sun Devil's first hit on a home run off the right foul pole.

However, the Wildcats were quick to answer, as newcomer Eros Modena capitalized on a two-runner situation in the fourth, dropping in his first NCAA DI RBI base, a line drive into shallow right center. Freshman catcher Chris Biocic powered an RBI grounder through the backside, granting B-CU the lead at 2-1.

The Wildcats extended their lead in the fifth, as Brandon Turner led off with a single, advanced to second with a steal, and took third on a balk, setting up David Lee's sacrifice fly to give B-CU the 3-1 advantage.

The Sun Devils rallied to knot the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth on James McDonald's RBI double, followed by a Max Rossiter sac fly to center.

The Wildcats showed patience and focus to load the bases in the top of the ninth, using a Modena walk, a C. Biocic bunt for a single, and Turner was hit by the pitcher. Modena capitalized on a wild pitch to overtake home for the 4-3 lead.

Again the Sun Devils battled back in the bottom of the ninth, as B-CU missed the third out on a grounder deep in the first base pocket, with the runner reaching base and Stankiewicz scoring from third.

The gridlock extended into the 11th, as ASU wore down B-CU's bullpen, with Matt Dunbar icing the game, hitting a one-out walk-off single up the middle for the 5-4 ASU victory.

Montana Durapau threw seven innings with three earned runs and five strikeouts. Jordan Dailey carried the Wildcats through 2.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts. Making his collegiate debut, Byron Ferguson takes the loss.

Turner and C. Biocic each went 2-of-4 on the night, accounting for one run scored and an RBI, respectively. Modena went 1-of-3 and added an RBI and run scored of his own.

"There were a number of great things, and things that we can build on as a team," Beverlin said.

The Wildcats (0-1) return to action at Packard Stadium on Saturday, continuing the three-game series with Arizona State (1-0) in a 1 p.m. game two matchup.

"As long as we continue to learn from our mistakes, we will get better as a team, and that's the most important thing," Beverlin noted.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feed,@BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Bethune-Cookman Athletics.

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