April 17, 2012
Arizona State 12, Arizona 8 (Box Score)
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 13-ranked Arizona baseball team let a five-run lead slip away, and No. 20-ranked Arizona State capitalized on a seven-run seventh inning to win a non-conference game between the in-state rivals by a score of 12-8 at Packard Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Arizona (24-12) overcame an early two-run deficit and used a six-run fifth-inning to take a 7-2 lead. Arizona State (24-13) then chipped away with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and a single run in the sixth, before erupting for seven runs in the seventh to go on to a 12-8 come-from-behind victory.
The Sun Devils took advantage of an erratic Arizona bullpen. Starter Tyler Crawford turned over a 7-4 lead in the fifth inning, before the floodgates opened. Relievers Tyler Hale, Stephen Manthei and Mathew Troupe surrendered eight runs on just four hits, but yielded four walks and two hit batters.
Troupe (2-1) suffered the loss after allowing the inherited tying runs to score and eventually the four runs that provided the winning margin in the bottom of the seventh. The right-hander walked in the tying run before giving up consecutive two-run base hits by Deven Marrero and Joey DeMichele.
Joseph Lopez (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Sun Devils despite giving a run on two hits. The damage could have been worse for the right-hander if not for a bases-loaded line drive double play that prevented a potential big seventh inning. Instead, the Wildcats scored just one run in the top half of that frame, before giving up the decisive seven runs in the bottom half.
The Sun Devils wasted no time taking an early 2-0 lead off Crawford, but the lefty settled in and tossed scoreless third and fourth innings to give the Wildcats' bats time to heat up.
Arizona scored a run in the top of the third before exploding for exploding for five runs in the fifth inning against starter Alex Blackford. Joseph Maggi led off with a double and Joey Rickard was subsequently hit by a pitch before Johnny Field bunted them to second and third, respectively. Alex Mejia and Robert Refsnyder followed with a pair of RBI singles, before Mejias-Brean launched a three-run homer to left field to give the Wildcats a 6-2 lead.
In the end, it was a bigger inning by the Sun Devils that provided the difference. Arizona out-hit the Sun Devils 13-12, but stranded eight runners to ASU's seven. Wildcat pitchers walked five, while Sun Devil hurlers issued just one walk.
Arizona resumes Pac-12 play this weekend in Seattle against Washington. The Wildcats are in a three-way tie for first place in the conference at the mid-point of the 30-game slate. The three-game series begins on Friday at 5 p.m. PDT at Husky Ballpark.