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Sloppy Sixth Inning Dooms Arizona Baseball
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/26/2014
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona State University baseball team scored 13 unanswered runs, including a 10-run sixth inning, to erase a five-run deficit and defeat visiting Arizona, 14-6, in a non-conference game between the rivals Wednesday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

Arizona (11-16) jumped out to a 6-1 lead, but the Sun Devils chipped away with three runs in the fifth inning before capturing the lead and all but putting the game away in the sixth.

Momentum firmly shifted when the Wildcats, leading 6-1, had the bases loaded and just one out in the top of the fifth. Reliever Jordan Aboites inherited the jam and quickly induced an inning-ending double play hit by Zach Gibbons.

Arizona State (13-10) then came to bat in the home half of the fifth and plated three runs off Wildcat starter Tyger Talley to cut the deficit to 6-4.  In the sixth, Arizona reliever Tyler Crawford issued consecutive walks to open the inning before left-hander Xavier Borde also issued a walk to load the bases.

That was when things fell apart for the Wildcats.

Arizona State sent 13 more hitters to the plate – 16 for the inning – and scored 10 runs on six hits, another walk, a hit batsmen, a passed ball and two errors.

Brian Serven, who drew the second walk of the sixth, went 2-for-3 with three runs scored in the game, including a two-run single in the endless sixth inning. Servin scored twice in the inning, as did Jake Peeveyhouse, who drew the leadoff walk to open the frame. Peevyhouse was 2-for-3 on the afternoon and scored three runs, including twice in the sixth.

Nathaniel Causey finished 4-for-5 with a run scored and another batted in to pace the 15-hit attack for Arizona State. Six Dun Devils finished the game with multiple hits.

The Wildcats seemed in control early.

Trent Gilbert, who was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, singled to open the second inning. Gibbons followed with a single and Bobby Dalbec later doubled home both runners to put the Wildcats on top, 2-0.

Arizona State tallied a run in the second off Talley, but Arizona regained a two-run lead in the fourth when Gilbert belted his second home run of the season – a solo shot to right-center.

The Wildcats then scored three times in the top of the fifth to claim their five-run advantage. Dalbec drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Michael Hoard’s double to prompt a pitching change.

Starter Seth Martinez was replaced by Eric Melbostad, who faced Scott Kingery. Arizona’s leadoff hitter slapped a sharp grounder to shortstop Colby Woodmansee, whose throw skipped past first baseman Nathaniel Causey to allow a pair of runs to score, as Kingery moved into scoring position.

Melbostad then walked Joseph Maggi, and Kevin Newman poked a single through the right side to drive in Kingery. Gilbert followed with a line drive single to left field to load the bases, forcing another pitching change.

That was when Aboites entered and coaxed Gibbons into an inning-ending double play, sending the Sun Devils to the dugout down 6-1.

After the 10-run explosion, Arizona State’s bullpen shut down the Wildcats the rest of the way.

Aboites (W, 3-1), who earned the win, tossed 2.2 hitless innings. Hever Bueno and Josh McAlister each pitched scoreless innings to finish the game.

Borde (L, 0-1) suffered the loss for the Wildcats, who used five pitchers in relief of Talley, who did not factor into the decision. Talley pitched five complete innings with four runs allowed on eight hits.

Arizona returns home to resume Pac-12 Conference play with a three-game series against No. 7 Oregon State this weekend in Tucson, Ariz. The series begins Friday night at 7 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field. All three games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.

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