The victory, UA’s eighth in the last 11 games against ASU, improved the Wildcats to 24-28 on the year and to 9-12 in the Pac-10. The Sun Devils, who stranded 14 runners on base in the game, dropped to 33-19 overall with the loss and into a tie for third with USC in the Pac-10 standings with an 11-10 mark in the conference.
Freshman Brad Glenn’s pinch-hit solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning provided the Wildcats with the winning margin, as UA was able to prevail despite walking nine batters on the day.
Trailing 5-3 after Glenn’s team-leading ninth homer of the year, ASU threatened in the eighth when reliever Cory Burns walked Frank Mesa and Preston Paramore to lead off the inning.
With Joe Persichina at the plate and no outs, ASU put the runners in motion on a hit and run attempt. The plan backfired, however, as Persichina swung and missed on Burns’ outside offering and UA catcher Konrad Schmidt gunned Mesa down at third for the first out in the inning.
Persichina flew out for the second out in the frame before Willy Fox drove home Paramore with a single to center to cut UA’s advantage to one and force Burns from the game.
Left-hander Matt Baugh entered, and after walking Colin Curtis, struck out Eric Sogard to end the inning and preserve the 5-4 lead.
The Sun Devils threatened again in the top of the ninth, loading the bases on back-to-back one-out singles by Brett Wallace and C.J. Retherford and a two-out HBP by Baugh to pinch hitter Ryan Sontag, but the Wildcat reliever struck out Seth Dhaenens to end the game and earn him his first career save.
ASU roared back with three runs on three hits in the fourth, as Wallace hit a two-run homer and Persichina added a RBI-single.
The 3-1 lead was short lived, as UA plated two runs in the bottom of the frame. Aided by one of 13 errors committed by ASU in the series, Bill Rhinehart scored from all the way from first on a Jason Donald double and fielding miscue by Curtis in center, and T.J Steele doubled home Donald in the next at-bat to tie the game at 3-3. Donald’s double extended his hitting streak to 23 straight games.
Glenn, who saw a string of 27 straight starts come to an end on Sunday, entered for classmate David Plante in the bottom of the sixth and drilled Jeff Urlab’s 0-1 offering over the left field fence for UA’s second pinch-hit home run of the season to make it 5-3 Arizona.
Brad Mills (6-5) picked up his team-leading sixth win of the season. The southpaw gave up three runs on six hits over five innings and finished with three strikeouts and three walks.
ASU’s Pat Bresnehan (3-3) was charged with the loss after giving up four runs, three earned, on just four hits over four innings.