ASU baseball comes back in the ninth and beats UCLA in 10 to win series
ASU baseball has made it clear this season that it intends to play all 27 outs.
For the second time this season, the Sun Devils (15-11, 5-4 Pac-12) were trailing with two outs in the ninth inning and were able to come back to tie it and win in the 10th. They did just that Sunday afternoon to beat UCLA 6-5 and take the series.
With ASU down 5-4 in the top of the ninth, freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee stood on third base with sophomore center fielder Johnny Sewald on second and redshirt junior right fielder Trever Allen at the plate with two outs. Allen ripped a ball to junior third baseman Chris Keck, who bobbled it which allowed Woodmansee to score and tie the game.
In the 10th inning, junior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse doubled with one out and with two outs, ASU sent sophomore RJ Ybarra up to pinch-hit. He didn’t wait around long, singling on the first pitch he saw and scoring Peevyhouse to give ASU the 6-5 lead.
Sophomore righty Ryan Burr came in to pitch in the eighth, and prevented the Bruins (16-10, 6-3 Pac-12) from scoring and gave ASU the opportunity to comeback. He stayed in and finished off the 10th inning.
The ending bore a striking resemblance to what happened at Oregon State back on March 22.
The whole game wasn’t that close. Early on, it looked like the Bruins were going to pull away during the first half of the game.
UCLA jumped out to an early lead in Sunday’s contest, putting up a run when senior outfielder Brian Carroll scored in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch. In the second, Carroll grabbed the RBI when he took a bases-loaded walk.
Carroll again was involved in the scoring in the bottom of the fifth when he was plated on a single by sophomore outfielder Ty Moore. It took six innings and three Bruins runs, but ASU fought back.
Freshman catcher Brian Serven whacked his first-career home run in the top of the sixth inning to start ASU’s scoring on the afternoon and trim the deficit to 3-1. It jump-started the team, and it was the start of a rally that saw ASU a take a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning.
UCLA fought back in its half of the frame. The Bruins drew two walks off sophomore righty Jordan Aboites, then scored them on a triple by senior infielder Kevin Williams to give UCLA the lead back, 5-4.
That's when the magic happened for ASU, coming back after being down to its last strike and winning in 10 innings.
Junior right-hander Darin Gillies pitched well for the Sun Devils, as he has the last few weeks. He tossed a quality start Sunday, giving up three runs on four hits and three in six innings and struck out three. He has a 2.65 ERA in three Pac-12 starts.
As good as Gillies was Sunday, his UCLA counterpart pitched just a hair better. Sophomore right Cody Poteet matched the six innings Gillies threw, but only allowed one run and struck out six.
ASU does not have a mid-week game for the first time since the first week of March, and can use the week to prepare for a home series against USC starting Friday.
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J15Emerson