Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com

ASU 8, UW 5

Jeremy McCuin went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and the go ahead run batted in in the top of the seventh inning as Arizona State beat Washington 8-5 at Husky Ballpark on a mostly sunny Saturday afternoon.

WIth the win the Sun Devils (22-25,8-15 Pac-12) tied the three game series at one win each and dealt a blow to the postseason hopes of the Huskies (25-22,11-12), who entered the series on the NCAA tournament bubble with an RPI of 68.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first against Connor Higgins when they loaded the bases on walks to Levi Jordan and MJ Hubbs and a double by Jack Meggs. Joey Morgan then hit what looked like an RBI ground out to third, scoring Jordan, but when McCuin bobbled the ball for an error, Morgan reached safely and the bases remained loaded. Washington had a chance for a huge inning but Higgins struck out Willie MacIver swinging and got John Naff to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The Huskies upped the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third when Meggs singled to center and scored on an opposite field double by Hubbs that landed just fair in shallow right, but again lost an opportunity at a big inning.  Jordan led off the inning with a double down the left field line but got thrown at home by Gage Canning trying to score on Meggs's hit. 

Not only did that play cost the Huskies a run but also the services of Jordan, who got injured on the play and had to leave the game.

In  the meantime Husky starter Jordan Jones retired none of 10 batters through the first three innings, allowing only a leadoff single to Hunter Bishop in the second.  He came out throwing strikes, retiring the Sun Devils on only seven pitches in the first.  he struck out Canning swinging on three pitches, got Andrew Snow to foul out to first on one pitch, and struck out Lyle Lin swinging on three pitches.   

The Sun Devils got to Jones and took the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth.  Snow grounded a single to center and Lin lined a single to center.  Hunter Bishop then  drilled a 2-0 pitch into right center that eluded a diving Hubbs for a triple, scoring both runners. After a groundout to third, Zach Cerbo plated Bishop with a line single to left.   

The Huskies answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth to knot the game at 3.  MacIver led off with a double to right center, took third on a flyout to center by Naff, and scored on a line single to center by Nick Kahle.

In a seesaw game Arizona State came right back with a run in the top of the fifth to go up 4-3.  McCuin led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice by Canning, and scored on a ground single to right center by Snow.

In the bottom of the sixth the Huskies again tied the game at 4 all when Naff singled with two outs and scored on a line double into the left field corner by Kahle.  

Then in the top of the seventh the Sun Devils took the lead with two runs to make it 6-4.  Carter Aldrete led off with a single to right, took second on a sacrifice by Myles Denson and scored when McCuin roped a 1-0 pitch from Chris Micheles to right center for a double and a 5-4 lead. McCuin advanced to third on a single by Canning and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Snow.

The home team once again tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh but only came away with one run instead of two.  WIth two outs Meggs doubled for the second time in the game, a deep fly to left center, and scored on a line double to left by Hubbs, also his second of the game, to make it 6-5.  

The Sun Devils added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth.  Tyler Lane got aboard on an infield single to short and scored on a triple to right center by Aldrete. Meggs could have cut the ball off but it rolled by him all the way to the wall, allowing Aldrete to race to third. Denson then lined a single to right center to score Aldrete.

The offensive exploits by the Sun Devils made a winner of Ryan Hingst (2-1), who allowed two runs on five hits in five and a third innings of relief.  He walked one and struck out thRee. 

For the Huskies Micheles (1-5) went two and a third innings, allowing the go ahead run on two hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.

The series concludes on Sunday afternoon with 1:05 first pitch.


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