Sun Devils Clobber Cougars

The Arizona State Sun Devils bats came alive Saturday night, as they scored 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in a 16-6 victory over the visiting Washington State Cougars. The win was the third straight for the Devils and helped them move into a third place tie with the USC Trojans in conference play with a 14-9 record.

The Cougars were able to take an early 1-0 lead in the top of third inning off Sun Devil starter Erik Averill after a two-out single to centerfield. The Devils answered back with three runs of their own in the fourth after Cougar starter Wayne Daman Jr. walked three start Devils to load the bases before serving up a three run double to senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch. The 3-1 lead would be short lived for the Devils as the Cougars battled back with three runs of their own in the fifth and two more in the six to build a 6-3 lead. The bottom of the sixth inning is when things really got ugly for the Cougars, as the Devils scored 10 runs on eight hits to blow the game wide open at 13-6.

The Devils were aided by a couple of lucky bounces and gusting winds in route to their 10 runs all of which came with two outs in the inning. Sun Devil second baseman Seth Dhaenens recorded four RBI in the inning on a two-run double that got the scoring started and a two-run single that capped off the 10 run inning. Senior preseason All-American Jeff Larish, recorded three RBI in the sixth with a bases loaded fly ball hit down the left field line that looked like it would be caught by Cougar left fielder Jay Miller. Fortunately for Devils the strong winds caused Miller to misplay the ball, which landed just inside the chalk.

Larish ended the Sun Devil onslaught in the bottom of the seventh inning, with a three-run homerun that sailed over the right field fence. The homerun was Larish's Pac-10 leading 17th of the year and also tied him with Barry Bonds for third place on ASU's all-time homerun list, with 45 career homeruns. The Devils ended the night with 14 hits as 10 different Devils ended the game with at least one hit.

Four Devils recorded a multi-hit game including Larish, who finished the day 2-for-6 with six RBI and two runs scored. Dhaenens (2-for-3, 4 RBI, 1 run), junior Travis Buck (2-for-3, 2 runs), and sophomore Colin Curtis (2-for-3, 3 runs, RBI) were the other Devils to record more than one hit. Other Notables were freshman designated hitter Willy Fox, who scored three runs and an RBI in his 1-for-4 day and freshman shortstop Andrew Romine, who went 1-for3 with two runs and an RBI.

Junior left-hander Brett Bordes picked up the win in relief for the Devils, as he threw 1.1 scoreless innings to improve his record to 5-5 on the year. Averill lasted just 4.1 innings while giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits.

The Devils will look to sweep the Cougars tomorrow afternoon in a 1 p.m. game at Packard Stadium that will conclude the regular season for the Devils. A win could also help the Devils take sole possession of third place in the Pac-10. On a side note, the Oregon State Beavers clinched the Pac-10 title today after the Arizona Wildcats dropped their game to Cal 6-3.

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