Devils Handle Cougars in Series Opener

The No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils started their three game series with the Washington State Cougars in great fashion Friday night, as they beat the Cougars by the score of 8-2. The win improved the Devils to 32-22 on the season and 13-9 in Pac-10 play. The win was a big one for the Devils, who had lost seven out of their last ten games and needed to get this weekend off to a good start in order to gain some momentum going into postseason play.

Senior right-hander Jason Urquidez led the way for the Devils, pitching seven solid innings while allowing just two runs on seven hits. The win was Urquidez's eighth of the season and improved his overall record to 8-4. Things didn't look so bright early on for the Devils, as the Cougars built an early 2-0 lead after a two-out rally in the top of the third inning. But the Devils bats answered right back with a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Junior Travis Buck started the rally with a two-out double followed by a walk issued to sophomore Colin Curtis. After a successful double steal, freshman designated hitter Willy Fox roped a triple into right field that tied the game at 2-2.

The Devils grabbed the lead the very next inning thanks to a run scoring double off the bat of freshman shortstop Andrew Romine. The Devils held their one-run lead until the seventh inning before breaking the game open by scoring four runs. Senior infielder Joey Hooft drove in two of the four runs with his pinch-hit single with the bases loaded. Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch then came through for the Devils just one batter later with a two-RBI single that put the Devils up 7-2. The Devils went on to add one more run in the eighth and turned it over to junior left-hander Brett Bordes, who closed out the game with two scoreless innings of relief.

It was good to see the Devils hit the ball well tonight and finally score some runs. Offensively the Devils recorded eight runs on 11 hits led by junior Travis Buck. Buck finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Senior Tuffy Gosewisch may have also busted out of his funk, as he went 2-for-4 on the day including two very big RBI and a run scored. Freshman Willy Fox and senior Joey Hooft each had two RBI for the Devils and one run scored.

The Devils will look for more of the same success they found tonight as they square off against the Cougars in game two of the series tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at Packard Stadium. The Devils will be sending junior left-hander Erik Averill (8-4, 3,72 ERA) to the mound to face Cougar sophomore Wayne Daman Jr. (7-5, 4.92 ERA).

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