ASU baseball drops series opener to UCLA

Sun Devils take early lead but can't keep up with 15th-ranked Bruins in 7-3 defeat.

LOS ANGELES -- The Arizona State baseball team fell to No. 15 UCLA 7-3 on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

The Sun Devils (13-11, 3-4) held a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the second inning after freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee led off the frame with his first career home run, but ASU was held scoreless for the final seven frames.

Starting left-hander Brett Lilek (3-2) took the loss after he allowed four runs, including three earned, on three hits and three walks in three innings, his shortest outing of the season. Sophomore right-hander Eric Melbostad conceded three runs on seven hits and struck out a pair in four innings of relief and redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Diamond threw a perfect eighth inning.

The Devils took an early two-run lead in the top of the first as they loaded the bases twice and sent eight batters to the plate. Sophomore center fielder Johnny Sewald singled to start the inning, junior second baseman Drew Stankiewicz took a four-pitch walk and junior first baseman Nate Causey knocked a base hit to center field before junior right fielder Jake Peevyhouse's grounder to second base was misplayed by the Bruins to allow both Sewald and Stankiewicz to score. UCLA countered in the bottom half with a leadoff walk and an RBI single by catcher Shane Zeile to pull within one, 2-1.

Woodmansee's solo home run over the left-field wall put ASU back ahead by a pair, 3-1, in the top of the second, but the Bruins struck twice in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at three runs apiece. They loaded the bases with no outs, and used an RBI groundout by shortstop Trent Chatterton and an RBI single by right fielder Christoph Bono to erase its early deficit.

UCLA took its first lead of the game, 4-3, in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to left field by first baseman Pat Gallagher, added another run in the fifth on an RBI single to right field and notched a pair in the seventh on four singles to extend their lead to four.

Bruins starter James Kaprielian (4-3) struck out 12 in six innings to earn the win. He gave up three runs, including two earned, on six hits and two walks.