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Baseball loses to Utah Valley, faces UCLA

March 15, 2012

The 11th-ranked Arizona State baseball team battled back from a five-run deficit before succumbing to Utah Valley, 9-6, on Wednesday at Packard Stadium. Freshman Nathaniel Causey hit his first collegiate home run, and Trever Allen and James McDonald each collected their second consecutive multi-hit game.

The Devils (11-5) gave up seven runs in the first six innings, including four in the second frame, before battling back in the bottom of the sixth to within one, 6-7.

Right-hander Darin Gillies (0-2) struck out seven in five innings, but took his second loss of the season after allowing four earned runs, all in the second inning, on five hits.

Right-hander Jake Barrett took the mound in the top of the ninth and struck out the side. Four other Sun Devils combined to pitch the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

The Wolverines (6-9) put four runs on the board in the top of the second inning to take the lead, 4-0. Jordy Hart hit a long fly ball into left field and McDonald appeared to have it tracked down, but he lost it in the lights, resulting in a three-run triple for Hart. Jake Rickenbach followed up an RBI single in the next at-bat.

Causey hit a two-run homer into right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the deficit to two, 4-2. Allen scored from first on the play after securing the first hit of the game for the Devils.

Utah Valley extended its advantage to five in the top of the sixth frame.

ASU countered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to bring the Devils within one. Andrew Aplin and McDonald each singled to lead off the frame and Joey DeMichele followed through with a two-run single two batters later. Rouric Bridgewater doubled down the left field line to score DeMichele from first before Allen hit an RBI single.

The Wolverines pulled ahead for good with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth off right-hander Robert Ravago.

Utah Valley right-hander Jeremy Gendlek (2-3) earned the win despite conceding six earned runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Josh Swenson (1) secured the save after allowing just two hits and no runs in 3 2/3 innings.

ASU travels to Los Angeles to open Pac-12 conference with a three-game series against UCLA on Friday-Sunday. Game one is slated for 6 p.m., game two at 2 p.m. and game three at 1 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday's games being broadcast live on The Fan 1060 AM for the first time this season.