Early Wildcat Runs Lead to Sun Devil Loss

The Sun Devils (33-16-1, 14-11) were unable to repair the damage the Wildcats (30-20, 11-14) did in the beginning of the game and dropped game one Friday night 10-7. Trevor Williams (5-6) took the mound for ASU and Konner Wade (5-6) took the mound for Arizona.

The Wildcats didn't waste any time before striking first. They were able to score two unearned runs thanks to an error on shortstop Drew Stankiewicz. The Sun Devils went three-up, three-down in their half of the first, giving the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

The big blow came from the Wildcats in the top of the second. Stankiewicz committed another error and Arizona was able to manage six hits and six runs off the Sun Devil ace. ASU could not counter the huge inning by the Wildcats. Catcher Max Rossiter and designated hitter Nathaniel Causey both singled, but a strikeout, fly out, and groundout ended the inning. Arizona was ahead 8-0 after two.

The runs continued in the third. The Wildcats were able to score another run off three hits. The bright side for the Sun Devils? Two Wildcat runners were left stranded on base. The Sun Devils were able to get on the board in their half of the third. Left fielder Jake Peevyhouse led off the inning with a walk. After a Kasey Coffman strikeout, third baseman Michael Benjamin blasted a two-run homerun over the left field fence. The score was 9-2 after three.

Williams appeared to be in a jam in the top of the fourth but after he committed an error, the ace was able to work himself out of it without allowing any hits. ASU continued fighting in their half of the inning. Right fielder Trever Allen reached base on an error by the Arizona shortstop. First baseman Dalton DiNatale moved Allen to second after hitting a single through the right side. Peevyhouse then singled to right field; scoring Allen. A single by Coffman scored DiNatale but Benjamin flied out to end the inning. The Wildcat lead was cut to five.

Trevor Williams appeared to have found his groove after his messy first couple innings. The ace got the Wildcat batters to go three-up, three-down in the top of the fifth. It was a quiet inning for the Sun Devils as well. Causey walked and Allen singled through the left side, but both runners were left on base. The score was 9-4 after five.

Arizona was able to add on another run in the top of the sixth on a single by designated hitter Jordan Berger. Arizona State went three-up, three-down in their half of the inning; giving their rivals a six-run lead at the end of the inning.

Right-hander Darin Gillies relieved Williams in the seventh. The sophomore allowed only one hit. There was not much action in the bottom of the seventh either. Second baseman James McDonald provided the only hit in the Sun Devil half of the inning with a single through the left side. The score remained 10-4.

Gillies was back on the mound in the eighth, but not for long. After inducing a fly-out to center field, left-hander Matt Dunbar relieved Gillies. There was an error on Benjamin, but the runner was unable to score. The Wildcats had no hits against the duo of Gillies and Dunbar in the inning. Signs of a rally appeared in the bottom of the inning. Allen led off the inning with a walk and Stankiewicz followed up with a single through the right side.

DiNatale grounded out, but managed to move the runners and one Sun Devil run scored on a groundout by Peevyhouse. Coffman was then hit by a pitch and Benjamin and McDonald made the Wildcats pay. Both hit RBI singles to the left side of the field. Rossiter then walked, and the bases were loaded for Causey. Causey hit a blast to far center field, but a nice grab by the Wildcat centerfielder ended the rally. The Arizona lead had been cut down to three.

Dunbar continued to impress and got the Wildcats to go three-up, three-down in the ninth. The Sun Devils were down to their final three outs. Allen and Stankiewicz both walked to start the bottom of the eighth. DiNatale struck out swinging and R.J. Ybarra, who had pinch hit for Peevyhouse, popped up to first base. Coffman then flied out for the final out.

What's next? LHP Ryan Kellogg (10-0, 3.36 ERA) will be on the mound for the Sun Devils on Saturday and RHP James Farris (4-5, 4.20 ERA) will be on the mound for the Wildcats.

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