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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils torch UA bullpen, take first rivalry game of season

ASU scored 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put away the Wildcats and win for the third consecutive game.

Junior first baseman Nate Causey had four hits in the Sun Devil victory and is 10 for 13 (.769) in his past three games.
Junior first baseman Nate Causey had four hits in the Sun Devil victory and is 10 for 13 (.769) in his past three games.
(Danny Shapiro/House of Sparky)

Four pitchers, 16 batters and 10 runs.

That's what the ASU baseball team laid on rival UA in the sixth inning Wednesday afternoon en-route to a 14-6 victory over the Wildcats (11-15).

"It was one of (the craziest innings I've ever been a part of)," junior outfielder Jake Peevyhouse said. "It was nice to be a part of one and not be in the field for that."

Peevyhouse led off the sixth with a walk off Wildcat junior reliever Tyler Crawford and scored two batters later on a wild pitch, one of three in the inning for the Wildcats.

Peevyhouse was hit by a pitch in his second at-bat of the inning and scored on an RBI single from sophomore outfielder Chris Beall.

All nine batters for the Sun Devils (13-10) reached safely in the 10-run sixth inning, the first double-digit scoring inning since Apr. 29, 2009, also against the Wildcats.

"When a team opens the door like that, the belief, the at-bats got better," Esmay said. "There was some gifts early in that inning, but we finished them off with some good at-bats."

The game wasn't always in the Sun Devils' grasp, though.

The big sixth inning erased a slow start for the Sun Devils, who trailed 6-1 entering the bottom of the fifth.

Freshman starter Seth Martinez didn't fare as well as he did in his first start, allowing five runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings, including a solo home run to Wildcat junior second baseman Trent Gilbert in the fourth.

Sophomore reliever Jordan Aboites replaced Martinez with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and promptly forced a double play to end the inning.

That's when the comeback truly started in the eyes of Aboites, who pitched 2 1/3 scoreless inning for his third victory of the season.

"When we were down 6-1, we had all the confidence we would string some runs together and come back and get into the ballgame," Aboites said.

The Sun Devils squeezed three across in the bottom of the fifth, negating the three runs Martinez and the Sun Devils allowed in the top of the inning.

Esmay said the fifth inning, not the sixth, was the high point in the victory.

"I thought the fifth inning was about as big of a game-changer as you could possibly make," Esmay said. "It was a tale of two games."

The win moved the Sun Devils a step closer to earning the Territorial Cup point in baseball, needing just two wins now in the final four games against the Wildcats.

For now, Esmay is content with the mid-week rivalry win before heading to Westwood this weekend to face defending national champion No. 15 UCLA.

"There was no letdown," Esmay said. "This wasn't a mid-week game for our guys. They were excited, they were ready to play Arizona and I think that helped us."