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ASU Baseball: Cerbo plays hero as Sun Devils win Washington series in extras

The sophomore's pinch-hit RBI double broke a 5-5 tie in the 10th.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Gunning for their first 6-0 start in conference series since 2009, head coach Tracy Smith decided to call upon sophomore catcher Zach Cerbo with one out and a runner on second in the 10th inning. It paid off.

Cerbo has found his niche as a pinch hitter this season, recording eight RBIs despite only starting in a quarter of the team's games. He came through yet again on Sunday afternoon, driving home the go-ahead run with a double to the gap in right center. ASU would hold on to win 6-5, clinching the road series victory in Seattle.

Flying high after last night's one-run win, the Sun Devils kept the momentum going early in game three. Four consecutive singles in the top of the first drew first blood for the visitors, and they added a second run in the next inning off an RBI double from Andrew Snow.

Washington did what it does best to get back in it, leading off the bottom half of the second with an Alex Schmidt home run over the fence in right field. The Huskies weren't done, however, and by the time the inning was over two more runs had scored to give the home team a 3-2 advantage.

It was the maroon and gold that used the long ball in the fifth, getting a solo shot off the bat of Brian Serven to pull even at three. ASU would then grab the lead back in the next frame, using a leadoff double and RBI groundout from Christopher Beall to make it 4-3.

The Sun Devils got an insurance run in the top of the eighth, and with a pitching staff that had dominated since the second inning, a two run lead felt somewhat safe.

Leadoff man Josh Cushing would change that quickly, taking a 2-1 pitch from Eder Erives deep over the right field wall. Washington would then tie the contest with another solo shot in the ninth, this one coming off closer Ryan Burr. The Austin Rei dinger marked the third time in four games that the normally reliable Burr has given up an ASU lead.

The comeback effort would all be for naught, of course as Zach Cerbo lifted everyone's spirits in the top of the 10th. The inning started with some beautiful execution as R.J. Ybarra led off with a base hit to left field, and Andrew Snow sacrificed David Graybill (pinch-running for Ybarra) into scoring position. That set the table for Cerbo, who ripped the third pitch he saw into the gap in right center to put the Sun Devils in front.

The Huskies were able to get the tying run all the way to third in the bottom half of the frame, but Burr (7-1) was able to preserve the lead this time, earning himself the win in the process. It was Troy Rallings (3-2), Washington's usual closer, that took the loss.

ASU improved to 25-11 (13-5) with the win, while the Huskies dropped to 21-16 (7-11). The Sun Devils will finish their four game road trip on Tuesday night down in Tucson against Arizona.