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Late ninth-inning rally stings ASU baseball in loss to Stanford

The Sun Devils surrendered seven runs in the final frame, six of which came with two outs


ASU freshman infielder Hunter Hass (14) prepares to bat against Stanford at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix on Sunday, March 18, 2021. ASU lost 13-5.

ASU baseball surrendered seven runs to Stanford in the ninth inning after entering the frame down just one run, resulting in a 13-5 loss Sunday in Phoenix.

Six of the seven runs scored by the Cardinal in the ninth came with two outs, highlighted by senior second baseman Tim Tawa's grand slam off of redshirt junior pitcher Brady Corrigan

ASU head coach Tracy Smith said Stanford played a cleaner game and ASU's bullpen became fatigued late. 

"It's not the home run that beats us, it's the other stuff ahead of that," Smith said. "For us to win, given our DNA at this moment with the pitching staff, we have to take care of the baseball defensively, and we have to eliminate the free bases."

The Sun Devils committed two errors, one resulting in a run, and walked 11 batters. Two of the three runners that scored on the ninth-inning grand slam got on base by walks.

Smith said he likely would have taken Corrigan out sooner had ASU not used so many relievers in the series. The Sun Devils went with a bullpen game Friday, played a 12-inning game Saturday and then used six pitchers Sunday. 

"The pitching stuff caught up with us," Smith said. "We are asking a lot of those guys."

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Tyler Thornton started for ASU but failed to get out of the fifth inning. He allowed four runs and struck out just one batter in 4.1 innings pitched.

The Sun Devil offense clawed back late despite their deficit, cutting a 6-3 Stanford lead to 6-5 in the seventh inning. Four Sun Devils recorded multiple hits, and the team finished with 13 total. Freshmen Jack Moss and Hunter Haas each recorded three hits.

"They got on a little roll in the ninth inning, but I think we still know we can hang with them," Haas said. "I think either team could have won that series."

ASU will take on Grand Canyon University next on April 20 at 6:35 p.m. MST in Phoenix.

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