Devils win four out of last five

After suffering a three-game road sweep at Oregon the previous week, ASU extracted a bit of revenge on the Ducks' in-state rival as the Sun Devils brought out the brooms by taking all three games against visiting Oregon State. Also, in a rare Monday-Tuesday series, the Devils split two games of non-conference action at New Mexico.

Though not appearing on his typical Friday night schedule due to an Easter holiday shifted Thursday-Friday-Saturday slate against the Beavers, junior Brady Rodgers continued his dominance by allowing two runs (both unearned) with six strikeouts in eight innings to vault ASU to a 8-2 victory, upping his season record to 5-1.

First baseman Abe Ruiz starred at the plate for the Devils, batting 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI, while right fielder Kasey Coffman batted in three runs. A total of five Devils notched multi-hit games on the day, giving ASU a well-rounded offensive attack.

Matthew Dunbar pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game for the Sun Devils.

Dan Child (3-2) suffered the loss for Oregon State, allowing four earned runs in 6.0 innings of work. Catcher Jake Rodriguez was the Beavers' offensive standout, collecting two hits in four at bats while driving in one of the team's two runs.

Friday and Saturday would feature some tense action in Tempe, starting with game two's 3-2 Sun Devil victory.

Trevor Williams (6-2) gained the series-clinching win for the Sun Devils, after being credited with two earned runs in 7.0 innings of work with three strikeouts while yielding only four hits.

Shortstop Deven Marrero provided a jolt for the Sun Devil offense with a two-run triple in the bottom of the fifth inning and DeMichele added an RBI single in the next at-bat to give ASU a 3-0 advantage.

Robert Ravago replaced Williams in the eighth and allowed the two runs to score, but exited the frame without relinquishing the lead. Closer Jake Barrett bowled through the Beaver ninth, earning the save after striking out two of the three batters he faced.

Ben Wetzler (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing the three Sun Devil runs in 5.1 innings. Left fielder Michael Conforto knocked in both runs for Oregon State.

Saturday, the Sun Devils simply could not generate any offense until the eighth inning, but a five-run outpour that inning allowed ASU to cruise to a 5-1 win.

Oregon State took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning shortly after ASU starting pitcher Darrin Gillies was removed, but the story of the day was the performance of the Sun Devil bullpen, namely Matthew Dunbar and Robert Ravago, who collectively allowed only one hit with four strikeouts and no walks among 4.2 innings of relief to keep the Beavers at bay.

With Oregon State still ahead just 1-0, the Devils reached a tie after an Abe Ruiz RBI and then gained the lead after designated hitter James McDonald's RBI single. Next up, catcher Max Rossiter crushed a three-run home run to left-center field, giving ASU a substantial 5-1 advantage. Ironically, Rossiter had suffered a dry spell prior to that blast, prompting radio play-by-play announcer Tim Healey to claim "he's due" seconds before Rossiter's home run swing.

With momentum fully favoring the home team, Barrett entered in the ninth and made short work of the batting Beavers, closing out a 5-1 Sun Devil victory and series sweep.

After a day off for the Easter holiday, the Sun Devils tripped to Albuquerque, N.M., to face the New Mexico Lobos and based on Monday's performance, ASU might have thought Monday itself was a holiday as the Devils suffered their worst loss of the season, 15-6.

Common for a weekday game of this nature, several youngsters and typical bench players saw extended time Monday, with Billy Young (0-2) suffering the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) in 2.2 innings of work. Zak Miller started and lasted just an inning and Adrian Gomez and Brandon Bonilla later were credited to allow eight total runs in just 2.1 combined innings.

Max Rossiter batted 3-of-4 with one run scored for the Devils, while Jake Peevyhouse claimed two RBI in his only at bat.

Rudy Jaramillo took the win for New Mexico and the Lobo offense was on a tear all day, with all nine batters registering at least one hit with six of them nabbing multi-hit performances.

Tuesday, however, ASU would get back on track with a 3-1 win over the Lobos, guided by a two-run Joey DiMichele home run and on the heels of a solid pitching effort by Alex Blackford.

Blackford (1-2) notched his first win of the season with an excellent effort that saw him allow only one run on three hits with five strikeouts in six innings. Jake Barrett struck out the side in the ninth to collect the save for the Devils.

James McDonald added the third run after catcher Beau Maggi's double sent him to third base and a subsequent wild pitch sent McDonald home.

The Sun Devils return home this weekend for a three-game slate against conference foe USC. Friday's game will be a "Blackout" in which the Devils will debut new black hats and jerseys. First pitch Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., as is the first pitch for Saturday's game. Sunday's start is slated for the usual 12:30 p.m. slot.

All three games will be broadcast live on The Fan AM 1060, with Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens on the call, and will be live streaming them.

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