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ASU Baseball: Bats show up in Pullman, but big fifth inning for Wazzu leads Cougars over Devils 10-6

Unlike Thursday, the offense was consistent, but a five-run fifth was the difference in the Sun Devils’s loss.

By Zach BonDurant, House of Sparky

Thursday’s loss for ASU Baseball (25-29, 13-16 Pac-12) saw one phase of the game — the pitching staff— dominate, while the other went dormant. On Friday, the bats produced runs in four straight innings, but Washington State’s (26-26, 11-18) five-run fifth inning left a crooked number that was the difference in the 10-6 Cougar victory.

Adam Tulloch (2-4, 8.03 ERA) battled through the first four innings, allowing two runs and limiting the damage before running into the fifth-inning buzzsaw. Tulloch loaded the bases before recording an out when Willie Bloomquist replaced him with Christian Bodlovich. All three runners were designated to Tulloch when Cougar outfielder Justin Van De Brake launched a grand-slam to regain a Wazzu lead at 7-4.

The offense chipped away at an early Cougar lead, scoring single runs from a Will Rogers (3-for-4, three RBI, one R) sac-fly and a Joe Lampe (1-for-3, one RBI, two BB) RBI single. By the fourth inning, the score was back to tied.

Rogers blasted his ninth homer of the year to take the lead, but the Van De Brake grand-slam immediately swung the pendulum back in Wazzu’s favor.

Sean McLain (2-for-5, one RBI, one R) added an RBI-single, and freshman Ryan Campos drove in a run to slim the Cougar lead down to 7-6, but that would be as close as the Sun Devils would get.

After Tulloch and Bodlovich, three more relievers threw on Saturday: Graham Osman, Blake Pivaroff and Brock Peery. All five Sun Devil pitchers allowed at least one earned run.

The Sun Devils now are in eighth place in the Pac-12 baseball standings. They can move up to seventh with a win in the regular season-finale on Saturday, along with Cal loss to Utah. However, the Sun Devils still cannot fall lower than eighth — the tournament’s last seed —with a loss to Washington State on Saturday.