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ASU Baseball: Hunter Bishop’s big night evens series against Arizona

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Sun Devils use a strong bullpen and key hits to even series.

Blaine McCormick/House of Sparky

Hunter Bishop has been mired in a yearlong slump at the plate. However, Friday night, Bishop busted out by driving in five runs to lead Arizona State to a series-evening victory.

The Sun Devils (22-29, 12-14 Pac-12) defeated the Arizona Wildcats (31-21, 11-15) 10-5 in front of a season-high crowd at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson.

ASU took an early 1-0 lead on junior outfielder Gage Canning’s solo homer to dead center field in the first inning. The Wildcats answered in the bottom half with junior catcher Cesar Salazar scoring on a wild pitch to knot the score at one.

Both starters struggled early in the game, junior right-hander Sam Romero for ASU and junior righty Michael Flynn for UA both allowed five runs after three innings. Romero only lasted 2 2/3 innings, before being replaced by sophomore lefty Spencer Van Scoyoc.

The Sun Devil bullpen shined.

Arizona State’s relievers threw 6 1/3 shutout innings allowing only three hits and keeping the Wildcats off the board. Senior left-hander Connor Higgins had his best outing of a difficult season; going 2 2/3 hitless innings with two strikeouts.

Bishop had the key at-bat of the ballgame. Strolling to the plate with two outs in the top of the sixth, Bishop lined a 2-1 pitch beyond the outstretched glove of Arizona’s freshman second basemen Jacob Blas.

The Sun Devils were able to get the key hits when they needed to on Friday. They only had eight hits, but left only two runners on base by cashing in on their opportunities at the plate.

Freshman infielder Spencer Torkelson hit his 24th home run in the ninth inning to extend ASU’s lead to 10-5, and freshman righty Brady Corrigan shut the door in the bottom half securing the Sun Devil win.

The series finale begins Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. The winner not only wins the series but also secures the “2017-18” Territorial Cup Series win.