No. 6 ASU Breaks Through to Down Cats, 8-1
Two runs in the seventh and five in the eighth handed Arizona State a 8-1 victory over visiting Arizona to take two-of-three in the Pac-10 series.
March 27, 2011
Arizona State 8, Arizona 1 (Box Score)
TEMPE, Ariz. - No. 6 Arizona State broke open a pitcher's duel with two runs in the seventh and five in the eighth to capture a series victory and defeat No. 15 Arizona with an 8-1 decision on Sunday afternoon at Packard Stadium.
Arizona starter Tyler Hale and Arizona State starter Jake Barrett were locked in a 1-1 tie after each allowed just one run over the first six innings of the game. But it was all Sun Devils from there.
After six strong innings, Hale surrendered a pair of runs in the home half of the seventh. A leadoff walk to Matt Newman set up a one-out, two-run home run to left field by Austin Barnes to give the Sun Devils a 3-1 lead.
Hale, who suffered his first loss of the season, finished with six-plus innings pitched and the three runs allowed. The right-hander scattered four hits, walked two and struck out four.
Arizona State (18-6, 2-1 Pac-10) added five insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Reliever Bryce Bandilla gave up a one-out double to Riccio Torrez before yielding a walk to put a pair of runners on.
With runners at the corners and Matt Chaffee in to pitch for Bandilla, Zach Wilson delivered an RBI single to extend the lead to a three-run margin.Then, the Wildcats committed a pair of errors on the left side of the infield, which resulted in two runs scoring.
With Nick Cunningham in to pitch, a sacrifice fly and a single through the left side pushed across two more runs before the inning was over, giving the Sun Devils an 8-1 advantage. Of the runs allowed in the eighth inning only one was earned.
The Sun Devils struck first with a run in the top of the second inning. Hale issued a leadoff walk to Joey DeMichele, who moved to second on a fielder's choice groundout. After a strikeout, Deven Marrero delivered an RBI single to drive in DeMichele.
A second run could have scored in the inning, after a wild pitch allowed Marrero to reach second. Barnes followed with an infield single up the middle that Mejia, diving to his left, was able to keep from getting to the outfield. Mejia's throw to first base was late, but Cole Frenzel relayed the throw to home, where Marrero was cut down trying to score from second.
Arizona tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third inning. Mejia led off with a single and came in to score on Joey Rickard's RBI double to left field. But the Wildcats, who left seven runners on base in the game, stranded two in the inning and could not claim a lead.
Jake Barrett earned the win for Arizona State with six strikeouts and five hits allowed. The right-hander worked into the eighth inning before issuing a one-out walk to Rickard, who was stranded when reliever Trevor Williams retired the first two batters he faced.
After scoring five runs on 12 hits in Friday's opener, the Wildcats combined for just nine hits and two runs scored in the final two games of the series,
Arizona will return home this week to host five games at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium. The week begins with mid-week series against New Mexico (March 29-30) and concludes with a weekend conference series against Oregon State (April 1-3).