ASU baseball finally showed some fight Sunday afternoon, but it wasn't enough.
The Sun Devils (9-8, 1-2 Pac-12) tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth but sophomore closer Ryan Burr gave up the game-winning home run in the 11th inning, propelling Washington to a 4-3 victory and a series win
Burr's (1-2) home run to Huskies junior second baseman Andrew Ely, his second of the season, broke the deadlock two innings after the Sun Devils rallied.
Sophomore outfielder Chris Beall hit his first career home run and junior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse tied the game in the ninth with a sacrifice fly.
It all went for naught after Ely's home run, a hit Sun Devil junior infielder Drew Stankiewicz, who scored the game-tying run in his return from a wrist injury, said crushed his team.
"We were so high after we tied it up and Burr shoved for a while there," Stankiewicz said. "We were so high and got so low so quick with one swing of the bat. It took all of the wind out of us. It was a hard one to lose."
Stankiewicz and the Sun Devils played from behind the entire game, starting when sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale, who made his first two errors of the season last night, muffed a ground ball on the opening batter of the game.
The Huskies (12-5-1, 2-1) made DiNatale and Sun Devils junior pitcher Darin Gillies pay two batters later when junior outfielder Robert Pehl doubled down the left field line to take a 1-0 lead.
Pehl scored two batters later following an RBI single from sophomore first baseman Branden Berry.
The Sun Devils got a run back in the bottom of the first courtesy of a two-out RBI single from sophomore catcher R.J. Ybarra but not before sophomore outfielder Johnny Sewald was thrown out at home following a single by junior first baseman Nate Causey.
DiNatale made another error in the second, this one throwing, that eventually allowed another Washington runner to cross the plate and extend the lead to 3-1.
Sun Devil head coach Tim Esmay said the early mistakes were costly, especially since Gillies, who struck out six and didn't allow an earned run in six innings, pitched so well.
"Gillies pitched really well today," Esmay said. "We make a couple of early plays for him and we aren't dealing with that situation."
Sunday's loss marked the second consecutive season the Sun Devils lost their opening conference series, but Esmay believes his team is close to putting it all together.
"The ingredients are there and now it's just a question of how quickly we can get these young guys going," Esmay said.
The Sun Devils play two home midweek games against Wichita State Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to Oregon State next weekend.
-Freshman pitcher Eder Erives was set to replace Gillies in the seventh inning, but left during warmups with an apparent shoulder injury. Esmay said post game he didn't know the severity of the injury but was glad it wasn't his arm, which he broke last June.
-Redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen also left the game in the top of the ninth inning after puking in right field. Esmay believed Allen was suffering from dehydration.
-The two runs Washington allowed in the ninth inning were the first the Huskies had allowed in the ninth all season.
-Ely's home run in the 11th was the Huskies 10th of the season. The Huskies had 10 home runs all of last season.