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ASU Baseball: Wildcats salvage final game of series with Sun Devils

UA's offense came to life in the fifth and final meeting between the two schools this season.

(Danny Shapiro/House of Sparky)

TUCSON, Ariz.- For the first time all weekend, the UA offense showed its muscle.

The Wildcats (18-25, 7-14 Pac-12) pounded out 11 hits to beat ASU 6-1 Sunday afternoon and avoid the series sweep.

Sun Devil junior starter Darin Gillies had his shortest outing since April 6th, going just four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits to pick up his second consecutive loss.

Gillies (1-4) ran into trouble early, giving up a two-out two-RBI double to freshman designated hitter Michael Hoard in the first inning.

The Wildcats extended the lead against Gillies in the fourth following a sacrifice fly from sophomore outfielder Zach Gibbons and an RBI single from sophomore shortstop Kevin Newman.

Sun Devil coach Tim Esmay said Gillies, who a week ago threw a career-long eight innings in a loss to Stanford, had moments but again fell short.

"He's pitched well enough to win but tonight had trouble pounding the zone," Esmay said.

The Sun Devils (23-17, 12-9) couldn't muster anything offensively, getting just two hits-both from sophomore outfielder Johnny Sewald-and one run against three Wildcat pitchers.

Wildcat sophomore starter Tyger Talley pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed just one run, a sacrifice fly to junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz in the third inning, and sophomore reliever Cody Moffett threw three scoreless inings to earn his second victory of the season.

Esmay wasn't pleased with the lackluster offensive performance, which saw the two through nine batters finish a combined 0 for 23 with six walks and two hit by pitches.

"The effort that we had today was very frustrating," Esmay said. "I'm upset about it because we had opportunities to put ourselves in good situations and we just let this one get away without any sense of urgency."

The loss prevented the Sun Devils from completing their first sweep of the season and they have now last their past four series finales.

"Sunday games have been our Achilles' Heel," Esmay said. "For some reason we haven't been able to do both (hit and pitch)."

Esmay and the Sun Devils left Tucson with the series victory and overall season series victory, but Esmay still wasn't happy with Sunday's performance.

"This time of year, when we have opportunities, we have to win these games," Esmay said. "We need to have that mindset of playing hard, aggressive, confident baseball."

The Sun Devils return to action Tuesday night at home against New Mexico State with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.