The non-conference victory capped off a wild day for the Wildcats (13-14, 1-2 Pac-10), who started Sunday in Berkeley, Calif., falling 5-4 in a darkness-halted Pac-10 Conference game against Cal, and finished it 650 miles away from the Bay Area at the home of the Diamondbacks.
After Bill Rhinehart’s eighth inning sacrifice fly pulled Arizona within one at 8-7, Plante, who finished the game 3 for 5 with seven RBI, launched Zechery Zinacola’s 1-0 offering 390 feet over the right field fence to plate teammates Brad Boyer, Jon Gaston and Colt Sedbrook on UA’s first grand slam since April 1, 2005. The hit was the first home run in Plante’s brief
Left-hander Daniel Schlereth recorded all seven outs over the final 2 1/3 innings via strikeout to pick up his first career win. ASU’s Ike Davis (2-3) was charged with the loss after giving up the go-ahead run on Plante’s slam.
Trailing 6-5, the Sun Devils took advantage of a throwing error by reserve catcher Matt Denker on a failed pickoff attempt at third to tie the game in the sixth inning, and used an infield single by Ike Davis later in the frame to pull ahead.
The Wildcats showed no ill effects from a late arrival at Chase Field from
Plante accounted for half of the early UA tally with a run-scoring single in the first and a two-run base hit in the second. Juniors Jason Donald and Bill Rhinehart posted RBI doubles in the first inning, and Brad Boyer chipped in with a sac-fly in the second to stake the Wildcats to a six-run advantage.
ASU countered with two runs in the bottom of the second on a pair of base hits and a two base error by the Wildcats to cut the advantage to 6-2.