Wildcats Sizzling Offense Evens Series with Devils

The only easy out the No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils were able to find Sunday afternoon was their way out of the Packard Stadium parking lot, after many of the 3,521 fans in attendance left early in Sunday's 16-7 loss to the No. 7 Arizona Wildcats. The Devils struggled on the mound and defensively all day long, as they committed a season high six errors and allowed 16 runs on 18 hits.

The loss dropped the Devils to 30-19 overall and 11-6 in conference play. The win helped the Wildcats improve to 33-16 overall and 13-4 in Pac-10 play. The win also guaranteed the Wildcats their first series win over the Sun Devils since 1992 (UofA won both non-conference meetings earlier in the season).

Things took a bad turn early in the game for the Devils, as Wildcat catcher Nick Hundley blasted a solo homerun over the left field fence that is still probably floating in the Tempe Town Lake? Things only got worse for the Devils in the third as three errors led to two more runs for the Wildcats. The errors caused Sun Devil starter Jason Urquidez to labor on the mound a lot longer than he should have, which is never good, especially when the game-time temperature is over 100 degrees.

Urquidez struggled in his 3.2 innings pitched, allowing seven runs (five earned) on four hits and two walks. The Wildcats blew the game wide open in the fourth as they put six more runs on the board to increase their lead to 9-1. Urquidez was pulled with one on and two outs in the inning in favor of right-hander reliever Ty Marotz who then walked the next batter before giving up a three run homer to Wildcat right fielder Jeff Van Houten. Van Houten also hit a two run homer in the ninth and finished the day 2-for-5 with two runs and five RBI.

The Devils did show some fight offensively when down 9-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring four runs off Wildcat starter Kevin Guyette, to cut the Wildcat lead to 9-5. The Devils were able to load the bases and bring the potential tying run to the plate in senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, but a long fly-out to the warning track ended the Sun Devil threat. That was the last time the Devils would even be close to making this a game, as the Sun Devil bullpen just couldn't get the job done today. Five Sun Devil relievers combined to give up nine runs in 5.1 innings pitched. Guyette picked up his ninth win on the year to improve to 9-4 while Urquidez dropped to 7-4 overall.

The Wildcat bats do deserve a lot of the credit today, as they were on fire all game long. Even when the Wildcat hitters would get out, it was usually in the form of a sharply hit ball or liner to the warning track. Every Wildcat hitter recorded at least one hit and seven of the nine batters recorded a multi-hit game. Two true freshmen led the Devils at the plate today, as shortstop Andrew Romine and designated hitter Austin Stockfish each recoded two RBI.

Tomorrow's rubber-match should be an exciting one, as the Devils will send junior left-hander Brett Bordes to the mound to face UofA senior Jeff Rierson. The Game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start at Packard Stadium and the Devils will definitely need all the support they can get as they go for the series victory.

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