Baseball sweeps away Washington with 9-6 victory

Sun Devil Pac-12 team titles

Pac-12 Baseball Standings as of May 20, 2012 games
Oregon, 19-8
Arizona, 18-9 (1 GB)
Arizona State, 17-10 (2 GB)
UCLA, 17-10 (2 GB)
Stanford, 17-10 (2 GB)

The 16th-ranked Arizona State baseball team completed its fourth consecutive home Pac-12 conference series sweep with a 9-6 victory over Washington on Sunday at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils (35-18, 17-10) have won 13 consecutive Pac-12 games at Packard Stadium and finish the home season with a 23-6 record, including 14-1 in conference play. This is the first time since 1988 and only the third time in program history that ASU has swept four consecutive Pac-12 home series'.

Deven Marrero went 3-for-4 with three RBI and fell a home run short of the cycle, and Joey DeMichele batted in a trio of runs as all nine ASU starters recorded at least one hit.

Right-hander Robert Ravago (4-0) earned the win after escaping a jam in the seventh inning and right-hander Jake Barrett (11) threw a perfect eighth and ninth inning to collect his 11th save of the season.

Abe Ruiz, right-hander Joseph Lopez and left-hander Adrian Gomez were honored before the game during a senior day ceremony. Lopez gave up no runs and no hits with one walk in 2/3 innings, and Ruiz went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The Devils struck first on an RBI sacrifice fly by DeMichele in the third inning to take the lead, 1-0. Andrew Aplin reached base on a single and advanced to third on a base hit by Marrero before sliding into home to score the first run of the game.

Branden Barry knocked in a two-run triple in the fourth frame and Caleb Brown added an RBI single in the following inning to put Washington on top, 3-1. ASU responded in the bottom of the fifth with a triple by Marrero and an RBI sacrifice fly by DeMichele to cut their deficit to one, 3-2.

The Huskies (27-24, 11-6) added a run in the sixth inning on an RBI double to stretch their advantage back to two, 4-2.

ASU regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, 6-4, behind a bases-clearing three-run double for Marrero and an RBI single by Kasey Coffman. Michael Benjamin walked, Coffman singled and Aplin reached on a fielders choice to load the bases for Marrero, who knocked in his seventh hit of the series.

UW got back-to-back two-out RBI singles in the top of the seventh to tie the game at six runs apiece, but a triple by James McDonald and an RBI sacrifice fly by Nathaniel Causey in the bottom of the frame put the Devils back on top, 7-6.

DeMichele and Ruiz each recorded an RBI in the eighth inning to push ASU's lead to three, 9-6.

Starting right-hander Alex Blackford gave up three runs on two hits and struck out five in 4 1/3 innings. Left-hander Adam McCreery replaced him in the fifth frame and allowed one run on four hits in 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Tyler Kane (5-2) took the loss after conceding four runs, including one earned, on four hits in two innings. Starting right-hander Aaron West lasted five innings and gave up two runs on five walks.

The Sun Devils end the 2012 season with a three-game Pac-12 series against Arizona in Tucson May 25-27. The games on May 25 and 26 are set for 6 p.m., while the one on May 27 will start at 12 p.m. All three games will be broadcast live by the Sun Devil Sports Network on the Fan AM 1060.

Game notes: Benjamin extended his hitting streak to seven games and has reached base successfully in 13 straight games...the Sun Devils wore their third different jersey combination of the weekend (black and copper on Friday, new white and maroon on Saturday, and maroon and gold on Sunday)...Aplin struck out in the fifth inning, ending his streak of 113 consecutive conference at-bats without a strikeout...left-hander Matt Dunbar gave up one unearned run and struck out one on no hits in 2/3 innings.