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Arizona State Baseball: Sun Devils Late Game Heroics Trumped by Washington

Arizona State Baseball

Photo – ASU Athletics

TEMPE, Ariz. — For the second game in as many days, Washington jumped out to an early lead on Arizona State shaking the confidence of the starting pitcher. The Huskies (12-5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) won the opening series of Pac-12 play and moved up the conference standings. The Sun Devils (9-8, 1-2 Pac-12) have now lost four of its last six games and look to get back in the win column with a mid-week two-game series against Wichita State.

Arizona State starting pitcher Darrin Gillies (1-1) surrendered two hits and three runs, all unearned, in the first two innings before settling into a groove. The junior RHP then tossed four consecutive shut-out innings, conceding only two more hits and racking up six total strikeouts in six innings of work.

Junior second baseman Drew Stankiewicz went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored but it was sophomore left fielder, Chris Beall who got the rally started in the bottom of the ninth inning with a lead-off home run on a 1-1 pitch. Stankiewicz was the next batter and was walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tucker Esmay. Johnny Sewald’s right field single followed by Jake Peevyhouse’s flyout to center field scored Stankiewicz securing a 3-3 tie going into extra innings.

After a lead-off error by Sun Devil third baseman Dalton DiNatale, sophomore reliever Eric Melbostad set down six consecutive Husky batters. Arizona State closer Ryan Burr came in to pitch the ninth inning and retired the next six batters before giving up the winning home run to Washington second baseman Andrew Ely in the 11th inning. Although it was a solid performance, Burr (1-2) would take the loss.

Washington used three pitchers through 7.2 innings and only surrendered one run. It was the final Huskies pitcher, Trevor Dunlap (1-1) that conceded three hits and two run that was awarded the win.

Next up for the Huskies is a mid-week games against Portland in neighboring Tacoma, Wash., before hosting the University of Arizona in a three-game set. The Sun Devils will host Wichita State before traveling to Corvallis to take on the Beavers.

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David is a featured columnist for Arizona State athletics as well as PAC-12. He is an accomplished writer with numerous articles published by local and national publications and websites. He has worked in college athletics for many years from Arizona to Delaware. He is a founding member of the Arizona State Young Alumni – Tucson Chapter and a lifetime member of ASU Alumni Association. He resides in Tucson with his beautiful wife who shares his love of beer and their two gorgeous golden retrievers.

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