SEATTLE – A three-run rally with two outs in the eighth inning erased No. 4 Sun Devil Baseball's late lead as they fell to Washington, 9-7, in the series opener on Friday night at Husky Stadium in Seattle.
Arizona State broke a 6-6 tie with one run in the top of the eighth, but the Huskies (21-14, 7-9) responded with three runs on two outs in the bottom of the frame to take a 9-7 lead into the final inning.
UW used a pair of two-run homers in the first and second innings, respectively, to jump out to a 4-1 lead. However, center fielder Johnny Sewald's three-run homer in the fourth capped off a four-run inning and gave ASU its first lead of the game, 5-4. The Sun Devils (23-11, 11-5) added one run in the fifth before a two-run homer, UW's third of the game, tied the game at six runs apiece.
Five Devils recorded a pair of hits as ASU tallied double-digit hits for the fifth time in the past six games, including five extra-base hits for the fifth time this season. Third baseman David Greer went 2-for-4 with two runs and a pair of doubles to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, shortstop Colby Woodmansee added two doubles and Sewald drove in three runs.
Right-handed reliever Eric Melbostad (0-1) was responsible for all three runs in the eighth inning and took his first loss of the season. He gave up a game-tying RBI double to UW second baseman Josh Cushing and issued a walk before right-hander Ryan Burr took over. Catcher Joey Morgan singled a 0-2 pitch into shallow left-center field to drive in the go-ahead run and center fielder Braden Bishop followed with a RBI single to left field to put the Huskies ahead by a pair.
Starting right-hander Seth Martinez allowed six runs on three home runs in 6 2/3 innings. He conceded four runs on two homers in the first two innings before he retired 11 straight batters and did not allow a hit in four consecutive frames. He issued a one-out walk and a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh and was replaced by Melbostad with two outs in the inning.
UW first baseman Branden Berry hit a two-out, two-run homer to left field in the first inning to stake the Huskies an early 2-0 advantage. The Huskies extended their lead to three, 4-1, in the bottom of the second behind a leadoff single and a two-run homer from left fielder Jack Meggs.
Greer scored the first two runs for the Devils via a leadoff double in both the second and fourth innings, and a RBI groundout by right fielder Trever Allen and a RBI fielder's choice by designated hitter RJ Ybarra, respectively. ASU's four-run fourth inning was punctuated by Sewald's three-run homer, which plated Allen and Ybarra, and put the Devils on top by one.
Woodmansee led off the fifth inning with a double, his second of the night, and scored three batters later on a two-out RBI single from first baseman Joey Bielek to push ASU's advantage to a pair, 6-4.
The Huskies' third home run of the game, a two-run shot by Bishop, knotted the game at six runs apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning.
A pair of one-out singles by Bielek and Allen, respectively, put runners at the corners in the top of the eighth for pinch-hitter Chris Beall, whose line drive was misplayed by the shortstop. The error allowed Bielek to score from third and put ASU back on top, 7-6.
UW right-hander Troy Rallings (3-1) did not allow a run in 1 2/3 innings and struck out a pair to earn the win. Starting right-hander Noah Bremer scattered seven hits and allowed six runs, including three earned, in a four-inning no-decision.
The Devils' pitching staff has given up seven home runs in the past three games after they allowed just 12 in the previous 31 games of the year…Greer has a hit in 22 of the past 23 games he's started for the Devils…ASU lost its second consecutive game for the first time this season.
The Sun Devils continue their three-game series with Washington on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. PT at Husky Stadium in Seattle. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks with Jim Watson and Kevin Stocker on the call, and broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 with Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens.
Saturday's Pitching Matchup
ASU: LHP Ryan Kellogg (6-1, 3.82 ERA)
UW: RHP Tyler Davis (5-3, 2.38 ERA)
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