Defending national champion UCLA snapped ASU baseball’s three-game winning streak with a 7-3 victory in Los Angeles on Friday night.
The Bruins (16-8, 6-1 Pac-12) fell behind early, giving up three runs in the first two innings, but were able to rally after the second and score six unanswered to take Game 1 of the series.
It didn’t take long for the Sun Devils (13-11, 3-4 Pac-12) to jump out to an early lead. The first three Sun Devils of the game reached base via two walks and a single. Junior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded, and reached base on an error by UCLA freshman second baseman Luke Persico. That scored sophomore center fielder Johnny Sewald and junior second baseman Drew Stankiewicz to give ASU a 2-0 lead.
But the Bruins answered back in the home-half of the first. ASU sophomore left-hander Brett Lilek walked senior outfielder Brian Carroll then let him get to second on a wild pitch. Carroll scored on a single by junior catcher Shane Zeile.
Then in the second, ASU freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee connected with his first-career home run to lead off the second inning to restore his team’s lead to two runs.
From that point onward, it was all Bruins. It was a scoring binge, as they put up two in the second, one in the third, one in the fifth and two in the seventh. They quickly eliminated ASU’s lead by tying the game in the third and chasing Lilek from the game.
Lilek lasted a career-worst three innings, either walking or hitting the leadoff hitter in every inning. It was the second rough outing inn a row for Lilek, who combined over his last two starts has gone 7 2/3 innings, six runs allowed and eight walks.
Sophomore right-hander Eric Melbostad came in to relieve Lilek, and didn’t fare much better. He went four innings, but gave up three more runs on seven hits and a walk.
Saturday’s game will be a duel of southpaws: ASU sophomore Ryan Kellogg vs. UCLA junior Grant Watson. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org follow him on Twitter @J15Emerson