Bullpen Costs Devils in First Series Loss

For the second straight game the Arizona State Sun Devils watched their bullpen give up a lead late and it was evident that ASU needs Josh Spence to be healthy to be successful. The Beavers scored nine unanswered runs from the fourth on to rally and take the series from the Devils with a 10-5 win at Goss Stadium.

The Devils got on the board first in the second inning against Beaver starter Jorge Reyes. Riccio Torrez led off the inning with a single to center and Kole Calhoun was hit by a pitch. Zack MacPhee then dropped down a sacrifice bunt that Reyes threw away, allowing Torrez to score. Johnny Ruettiger then walked to load the bases with nobody out, but Raoul Torrez hit into a double play, letting a run score but killing the big inning.

ASU (33-11, 16-5 Pac 10) kicked their lead up to 4-0 with a pair of runs in the third. Jason Kipnis walked to start the inning and after a strikeout, Kipnis moved up to second on a groundout. Riccio Torrez then came through with a clutch two out double to right that scored Kipnis and Calhoun followed with his own double to make it 4-0.

The Beavers (27-12, 11-7 Pac 10) got on the board in the bottom of the third against ASU starter Jordan Swagerty. Koa Kahalehoe started the inning with a double to left field and moved up to third on a groundout by Michael Miller. John Tommasini cut the lead to 4-1 with a sacrifice fly to center.

That run lost in the third was taken right back in the fourth by ASU. A two out RBI single by Carlos Ramirez played Ruettiger who led off the inning with a walk. However, that would be the last positive thing that would happen to the Devils.

Oregon State got a run off of Swagerty in the fourth, thanks to a leadoff walk to Joey Wong. Ryan Ortiz followed with a double to left, but Wong was thrown out at the plate on a fielders' choice hit into by the next batter Stefan Romero. Jared Norris' RBI groundout plated Ortiz to cut the lead to 5-2.

A two out rally further cut into the Devils lead in the fifth inning, as Swagerty got the first two outs before hitting Tommasini with a pitch. Tommasini stole second and came into score on a single by John Wallace.

Swagerty exited after giving up a leadoff single to Adalberto Santos to start the seventh. Matt Newman too over and wasn't helped much by his defense. An error by Zack MacPhee allowed Kahalehoe to reach on a fielder's choice and right after that error, Drew Maggi committed an error on a ball hit by Rob Folsom to allow Santos to score and cut the lead to 5-4.

Tommasini tried to sacrifice the runners up, but Newman fielded the bunt and retired Kahalehoe at third. Newman got Wallace to fly out for the second out, but Joey Wong tied the game at 5-5 with a clutch two out hit to right center.

The wheels fell off for the Devils' bullpen in the 8th, allowing five runs to score and the game slipped away fast. Stefan Romero singled to start the decisive rally and then Jared Norris walked to put two on. Santos took a Newman pitch through the right side to score Romero, which would end up being the winning run.

Kole Calhoun then replaced Newman on the mound and allowed an RBI groundout by Kahalehoe to make it 7-5 Beavers. Jason Franzblau then took over for Calhoun and was greeted by a triple off the bat of Rob Folsom and it was 8-5. Pat Murphy again went to the bullpen and called on seldom used Jake Borup who threw a wild pitch that scored Folsom and walked Tommasini before being pulled for Kyle Brule. Brule allowed an RBI single to Joey Wong before working out of the inning.

ASU went 1-2-3 in the ninth to seal their first series loss of the season. Swagerty allowed four runs, three earned in his six innings of work for the no decision. The losing pitcher was Matt Newman who gave up four runs, three earned in just one inning. Jason Franzblau and Jake Borup each allowed a run without recording an out.

Riccio Torrez, Carlos Ramirez and Kole Calhoun each had two hits at the plate and drove in a run for the Sun Devils on Sunday.

With their loss to Stanford on Sunday, the Washington State Cougars fell out of second place and into third place. The UCLA Bruins, with their series win over Oregon, is the new second place team, three games back of ASU. Oregon State and the Cougars sit 3.5 back.

The Devils now return home for a mid-week series with the San Diego Toreros (27-21), who were swept this weekend by Loyola Marymount. Game one of an eight game home stand is Tuesday with first pitch at 6:30 PM.

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