Andrew Ely’s home run in the 11th inning had to sting.
The Washington junior second baseman took the first pitch he saw and put it over the 368-foot sign in right-center field, ending ASU’s attempt at a comeback after tying the game in the ninth and gave Washington the lead it needed to win 4-3 Sunday afternoon.
“It’s just not getting the job done,” ASU coach Tim Esmay said.
ASU sophomore right-hander Ryan Burr came in with his team trailing 3-1 in the ninth inning. His job was to keep the game close and give the offense a chance to tie it in the home-half. Burr did just that with a perfect ninth, and the offense did its job as well.
A home run by sophomore Christopher Beall – the first of his career – and a single by junior infielder Drew Stankiewicz put the tying run on base. Stankiewicz was bunted to second, singled to third then scored on a sacrifice fly by junior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse.
As it turned out, the comeback didn’t matter. Ely homered to finish off the Sun Devils (9-8, 1-2 Pac-12). It was the first time the Huskies (12-5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) won a series in Tempe since 2004.
“We were so high, then so low that quick,” Stankiewicz said. “It really took all the wind out of us. It’s a hard one to lose.”
After allowing three runs in the top of the first, the ASU bats answered with one, then went dormant until the ninth. ASU managed only four hits in innings two through eight.
“Quality at-bats early and then where’d they go?” Esmay said. “What hurts is 10 hits, but only three runs.”
Lost in the rally was an excellent start from junior right-hander Darin Gillies, who went six innings. He allowed three unearned runs in that times, and allowed only two baserunners from the third inning onward. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
It was a rough day for ASU freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee. He struck out three times, including in the second inning with Stankiewicz on third base with one out. He also had an error in the field and was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Sophomore first baseman Dalton DiNatale had two errors in the field after having two in Saturday’s game. He had none in his previous 13 games.
– Sunday was Stankiewicz’s first game since Feb. 27 because of a wrist injury. He finished 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and a run scored.
– Freshman right-hander Eder Erives came in to pitch the seventh inning, but was removed after warming up. Esmay said he hadn’t spoken to trainers yet, but thinks it is a shoulder issue.
– Redshirt junior right fielder Trever Allen left the game with two outs in the top of the ninth. He came in from right field with what Esmay said he believes was dehydration.
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