TEMPE, Ariz. – Washington scored six times in the eighth inning to break open a 3-3 tie and beat Arizona State, 9-3, Saturday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. to even the Pac-12 series opener for both teams at one game apiece.
Washington (11-5-1, 1-1 Pac-12) sent 11 batters to the plate in the 32 minute half-inning and the Sun Devils (9-7, 1-1) did not record an out until the ninth batter.
The Huskies loaded the bases to start the inning without the luxury of a base hit. Austin Rei was hit by a pitch and Jack Meggs tried to sacrifice him to third but reached on a throwing error by third baseman Dalton Dinatale. Erik Forgione followed with a sacrifice attempt of his own, but pitcher Jordan Aboites’ throw to third to get the lead runner was dropped by Dinatale for his second error of the inning.
Braden Bishop made the Sun Devils pay dearly for their mistakes by clearing the bases with a three-run triple down the left-field line to make it 6-3. Bishop had struck out against Aboites (1-1) an inning earlier and put to use what he learned in his next at bat.
“I knew from my past at bat he was going to probably throw a slider, and I was sitting on that pitch,” said Bishop, who went 3-for-6 at the plate. “He hung one and I got inside of it and drove it down the line.”
Andrew Ely followed with a double to drive in Bishop and Robert Pehl followed with a single that scored Ely. Branden Berry walked and Brian Wolfe finished the scoring with an RBI single that sent Pehl home.
Alex Schmidt, the ninth batter, fouled out to the catcher for the first out, but by then the Huskies had inflicted plenty of damage.
Troy Rallings, who came into the game in the seventh inning with two outs, pitched the final 2 and 1/3 innings to pick up his second win of the season.
“It was a great team win,” said coach Lindsay Meggs following UW’s come-from-behind victory. “This is a tough place to win and I give credit to our guys. They kept staying with it and were able to have a couple of quality at bats that became contagious in the eighth inning.”
UW scored first in the game, but would fall behind 3-1 before eventually tying the game in the seventh.
The Huskies’ offense wasted little time getting ahead of the Sun Devils. They took the 1-0 lead in the first inning after Ely tripled down the right field line with one out and Pehl promptly followed with a double. It was just the third run in the first inning for the Huskies this season.
The Huskies held that lead until the fourth when shaky defense and good ASU hitting combined to make a long inning for starter Tyler Davis, who had pitched nine-straight scoreless innings dating back to last Friday.
The Sun Devils scored three unearned runs to take the 3-1 advantage on the heels of two Husky errors. After the first two ASU hitters reached on base hits, the bases became loaded when Schmidt dropped a David Graybill grounder. ASU got on the board to tie the score when Christopher Beall hit a grounder to first baseman Berry that bounced off his glove for another error. Colby Woodmansee followed with a sacrifice fly and David Greer capped the scoring in the inning with a two-out RBI single.
Washington answered in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 3-2 on a Pehl sacrifice fly to center field that scored Forgione, who reached on a lead-off walk.
The Huskies were finally able to tie the game in the seventh inning to get Davis off the hook. With one out, Ely was hit by a pitch and with two outs he advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ely was then able to keep the inning alive as he avoided the tag of third baseman Dinatale on a Barry fielder’s choice ground ball. Pinch-hitter Wolfe drove in Ely with a single to tie the score at 3-3.
Davis’ night was done after six innings of strong work. He allowed just three unearned runs on eight hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three. He has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts and just one over his last 16 and 2/3 innings.
Offensively, Bishop paced the Huskies with three hits and 3 RBIs. Pehl was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and Ely was 2-for-3 with a triple, double, three runs and a RBI.
Wolfe came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI singles.
Washington wraps up its opening Pac-12 series against Arizona State Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. first pitch. Huskies’ righty Jeff Brigham (3-0, 1.17) will take the hill against ASU right-hander Darin Gillies (1-1, 6.62) in the team’s last-ever meeting at Packard Stadium.
Arizona State will start playing in Phoenix Municipal Stadium, the former spring training home of the Oakland A’s, in 2015.
Washington 9, Arizona State 3
WASH 100 010 160 –- 9 11 3
ASU 000 300 000 –- 3 11 2
Tyler Davis, Will Ballowe (7), Troy Rallings (7) and Austin Rei. Ryan Kellogg, Jordan Aboites (6), Hever Bueno (8), Nick Diamond (8), Josh McAlister (8) and Brian Serven. W – Troy Rallings (2-0). L – Aboites (1-1). Sv – None. HR – none. 3B – UW, Andrew Ely, Braden Bishop. 2B – UW, Robert Pehl, Trevor Mitsui, Ely. ASU, Dalton Dinatale. Time – 3:08. Attendance – 2,915.