Devils Comeback Falls Short

The Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team opened up Pac-10 play Thursday night with a tough 9-8 loss to the USC Trojans. The Devils were able to make the game close late by scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning to cut the Trojan lead to just one run after being down 9-4. But Trojan closer Paul Koss was able to shut down the Devils over the final 2.2 innings to preserve the one run lead and the victory for the Trojans.

The Devils did take an early 2-0 lead but the Sun Devil pitching staff failed to hold the lead as they struggled to find their control and strike zone all night long. Sun Devil starter Zechry Zinicola lasted just two innings and was pulled for senior right-hander Erik Averill. Averill also lasted two innings and was charged with four earned runs on two hits and two walks. The Devils were able to score two more runs in the fifth to tie the game at four but the Trojans were able to strike right back in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. The Trojans scored four runs in the inning after the first five batters reached base on four walks and one hit batter. Junior left-handed pitcher Brett Bordes was charged with the loss and dropped to 1-3 on the season. USC starter Ian Kennedy picked up the win to improve his record to 3-1 as he struck out nine Sun Devil batters in his six innings of work. The Sun Devil pitchers totaled nine walks and three hit batters in the game.

Offensively the Devils were lead by junior preseason All-American Travis Buck. Buck finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Sophomore outfielder Colin Curtis and senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch were the other Devils to record a multi-hit game. Curtis ended up 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Gosewisch also went 2-for-5 with one run and two RBI's.

The Devils dropped to 16-13 on the year and 0-1 in Pac-10 play while the Trojans improved their record to 14-6 overall and 1-0 in Pac-10 play. ASU will look to turn things around tomorrow and even the series as the two teams go at it again at Dedeaux Field in California. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. PT start time.

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