It was truly a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of game for the Sun Devils as they lost to Washington State 10-7 in Pullman, Washington.
After being outscored 10-0 after four innings of play, the Sun Devils clawed back to score seven unanswered runs, but it wasn’t enough. This snaps an eight-game winning streak by the Sun Devils in which they hadn’t given up more than eight runs in any of those games.
Sophomore Ryan Kellogg got the start on the mound for ASU, and while he has been very solid all season, he was lit up against the Cougars. Kellogg gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits in just over three innings pitched with no strikeouts. His loss gives him an 8-3 record on the season.
Kellogg was subbed out for sophomore Eric Melbostad in the fourth inning after Kellogg gave up his eighth run. With one more out needed to end the inning, three more Washington State runners would go on to score.
To ASU’s credit, instead of folding, it fought back. In the very next inning, junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz and sophomore center fielder Johnny Sewald scored off a single from sophomore designated hitter RJ Ybarra. Ybarra, along with junior left fielder Jake Peevyhouse and junior catcher Nate Causey, would go on to score in a five-run fifth inning.
The Sun Devil defense also stepped up, not allowing a single run after the fourth inning. Melbostad conducted a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, then gave the ball to redshirt junior Cory Bernard in the sixth. Bernard struck out three of the six batters he faced in the game while only allowing one hit.
Junior infielder Tucker Esmay would be the last two runs for the Sun Devils in the game, scoring in the sixth and eighth innings. Washington State freshman pitcher Ian Hamilton would prove too much for the Sun Devils in the ninth inning as he struck out two batters in the final frame en route to his 15th save of the season.
Cougar senior Kellen Camus was credited with his sixth win, but the real star on the mound for Washington State was senior Jason Monda. Monda gave up five runs, all in the fifth inning, but had eight strikeouts by the end of the fourth inning.
Also coming up big for Washington State was senior right fielder Collin Slaybaugh, who had two doubles and three RBI. Six other Cougars recorded at least one RBI, including freshman center fielder Cameron Frost who had two.
The Sun Devils are now 32-22 on the season with their last game of the regular season coming up at noon on Sunday as they close out the series against Washington State.
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