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Baseball takes two out of three in WSU series

April 30, 2012

The 23rd-ranked Arizona State baseball team rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth inning, but Washington State hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the frame to win the series finale, 7-6, on Sunday at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman, Wash.

Abe Ruiz led off the ninth inning with a solo home run to bring the Sun Devils (26-17, 11-10) within one, 6-5. Kasey Coffman then singled with two outs and stole second before Nathaniel Causey came through with a pinch-hit, two-out RBI single to tie the game at six runs apiece.

Taylor Ard hit a two-out walk-off single off right-hander Jake Barrett (1-4) in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cougars (22-18, 8-9) a one-run victory. Barrett took the loss after allowing one run on a pair of hits in 1 1/3 innings.

The Cougars scored four runs on five hits in the first inning to take their first lead of the series, 4-0. ASU starting right-hander Darin Gillies was replaced with two outs in the frame by left-hander Matt Dunbar, who induced a groundout to end the inning.

ASU responded with two runs in the top of the third inning on an RBI groundout by Joey DeMichele and an RBI single by Ruiz. Trever Allen singled for the Devils' first base hit of the game, Andrew Aplin walked and a fielding error by the Cougars' third baseman on a Deven Marrero grounder loaded the bases with one out.

Adam Nelubowich and Ard hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third and fifth innings, respectively, to extend Washington State's lead, 6-2.

Aplin led off the seventh inning with a double to right field and Marrero followed with an RBI single as the Sun Devils cut their deficit to two, 6-4. DeMichele added a single in the next at-bat and James McDonald secured an RBI groundout two batters later.

The Devils loaded the bases in the eighth inning on two walks and a single, but a ground out by DeMichele with two outs kept ASU off the board.

WSU right-hander Anthony Drobnick (3-2) earned the win despite giving up two runs on three hits in the ninth inning. Starting left-hander Joe Pistorese allowed three runs, including one earned, on seven hits in six innings.

Dunbar gave up one run on four hits and struck out two in 3 1/3 innings before right-hander Joseph Lopez took the mound in the fifth frame. Lopez recorded six consecutive outs after giving up a home run to the first batter he faced.

The Sun Devils return to Packard Stadium to host Utah for a three-game Pac-12 series May 4-6. All three games will be broadcast live by Sun Devil Sports Network on The Fan AM 1060 and will also be webcast by The games on May 4 and May 5 are slated for a 6:30 p.m. start, while the contest on May 6 will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Game notes: Attendance was 525...right-hander Robert Ravago gave up two hits in 1 1/3 scoreless innings of time was 3 hours, 3 minutes.