Baseball loses two of three to UA

The ASU baseball team traveled to Tucson over the weekend to take on rival UA for a pivotal three game series to close out the regular season.

The No. 16 Sun Devils (36-20, 18-12 Pac-12) dropped two of three against the No. 13 Wildcats (38-17, 20-10 Pac-12) in a series that drew a total of 14,055 people.

At the beginning of the year, ASU’s goal was to win the Pac-12 regular season title because the Sun Devils are banned from post-season play and after a season of dominant pitching and clutch hitting, the Sun Devils’ goal was within reach.

No. 16 ASU came into the weekend series against No. 13 UA just two games back of conference leading Oregon.

In the series opener Friday night ASU fell 1–0 via a walk-off double.

Junior pitcher Brady Rodgers delivered a solid performance for the Sun Devils on Friday night. Rodgers (10-3) pitched eight-and-one-third innings without giving up an extra-base hit. He struck out four Wildcats.

Rodgers left the game with one out in the ninth and one runner on base. Junior closer Jake Barrett took over and the first batter Barrett faced laced a double and scored the winning run for UA.

On Saturday the Sun Devils got their only win of the series behind a strong outing from their right-handed sophomore.

Trevor Williams (12-2) became the only pitcher in the Pac-12 to earn 12 wins this season after his performance Saturday, when he pitched eight innings while scattering 10 hits and giving up only four earned runs.

ASU junior center fielder Andrew Aplin led the offensive explosion in the second game of the series, going 4-6 with three RBI and three runs scored.

In the series finale, the Sun Devils battled back from a 5–0 deficit with six straight runs, but the Wildcats stole another game in the ninth with a walk-off single.

With the loss, the Sun Devils’ hope of winning the Pac-12 regular season title was shot down.

 

Reach the reporter at rdunham1@asu.edu

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