PULLMAN, Wash. — Thanks to a big sixth inning, Arizona State was able to even their three-game series with Washington State in an 11-7 victory at Bailey-Brayton Field. The win puts the Devils at 28-2, 6-2 in Pac-10 play.
ASU plated six runs on the sixth, breaking open a close game that saw the Sun Devils squander a number of scoring opportunities. Merrill Kelly was the beneficiary of the big inning, as the Sun Devil starter improved to 7-0 on the year after his seven innings.
The Sun Devils had the Cougars on the ropes in the top of the first, but could only manage two runs. After WSU starter Travis Cook walked the first three hitters he faced, he hit Riccio Torrez to force in a run. Zach Wilson grounded into a double play that brought home Zack MacPhee and make it 2-0, but ASU was not able to add any more.
The Devils tacked a run on in the second, scoring a two-out run on an RBI single by Zack MacPhee that brought home Johnny Ruettiger from second. Zach Wilson would make it 4-0 on an RBI double in the top of the third.
After stranding six runners, all in scoring position, through the first five innings, the Sun Devil bats finally woke up, scoring six runs in the top of the sixth to go up 10-1. After Drew Maggi grounded into a double play that advanced Raoul Torrez to third, Zack MacPhee homered to left, his fifth of the season and second of the series. That started a rally for ASU that saw six straight Sun Devils reach base, including back-to-back doubles by Kole Calhoun and Riccio Torrez, the latter which scored Calhoun. Wilson followed that with an RBI single, as did Johnny Ruettiger.
The Cougars would get back two in the bottom of the sixth to draw to within 10-3, but Drew Maggi personally manufactured a run in the top of the seventh. After drawing a one out walk, Maggi stole second, then stole third and took home when the throw from WSU catcher Paul Clingan went into the outfield. That made it 11-3 ASU. The Cougars would push another run across off Kelly in the seventh.
Josh Moody threw the eighth for ASU without allowing a run, giving way to Alex Blackford in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Blackford ran into some trouble, allowing three hits and three runs, walking two. With two out and two on and ASU clinging to an 11-7 lead, Jake Barrett came from the bullpen to record the final out and pick up his second save of the season.
Zack MacPhee finished the day 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Zach Wilson collected three hits and two RBI of his own. Riccio Torrez and Andrew Aplin each collected a pair of hits in the win. Drew Maggi was held hitless, but drew two walks, scored two runs and stole four bases, giving him 20 steals on the year.
The Devils and Cougars wrap up the three-game series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.