Cats Drop Finale at No. 4 ASU
March 22, 2009
Final Box | Arizona Overall Stats
TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 4 Arizona State Sun Devils once again proved to be too much for the visiting Arizona Wildcats, completing a three-game sweep with an 23-9 victory on Sunday afternoon at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.
The Wildcats (11-10, 0-3 Pac-10 ), who struggled to mount significant offensive threats early in the Friday and Saturday games, actually claimed 1-0 and 4-3 leads in the first two innings.
But Arizona State (17-3, 3-0 Pac-10) asserted itself in the home half of the third, capitalizing on erratic Arizona pitching and tallying seven runs to take a commanding 11-4 lead.
Tied 4-4 entering the frame, the Sun Devils roughed up Arizona relievers Kyle Simon and Donn Roach for seven total runs on only three hits. However, three Sun Devils were hit by pitches in the inning to go with a walk and an error by third baseman Brad Glenn, all of which aided the ASU offensive explosion that was capped by a Zach Wilson two-run double.
When the third inning was complete, Arizona State found itself with an 11-4 lead – one it would never relinquish.
Sun Devil reliever Mitchell Lambson entered in the third inning and stymied the Arizona bats that showed signs of life in the first two-plus innings as they collected six hits and four runs off ASU starter Seth Blair.
Over the next five innings, only one Wildcat reached base off Lambson – a harmless single by Bryce Ortega in the top of the seventh inning. Lambson earned the victory, pitching five shutout innings.
Arizona State posted five additional insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth off UA senior Cory Burns, capped by a two-out grand slam to centerfield by Jason Kipnis.
The Wildcats finally snapped a stretch of 13 unanswered runs over five innings with three runs in the top of the eighth. Dillon Baird, who went 4-for-5 with three RBI in the game, led off with a double and scored later in the inning on a two-run triple by Rafael Valenzuela. The UA first baseman then came in to score on a pinch-hit sacrifice flyout by Shaun Cooper.
After a six run eighth inning for ASU, the Wildcats scratched an eighth run on the board on another double by Baird an RBI single by Steve Selsky to set the score at its final, 23-9.
Arizona freshman Bryce Bandilla made his third career start, but was chased from the game in the first inning before ever recording an out. With one run in and the bases loaded, Bandilla, who suffered his second loss as a starter, was replaced by Simon.
The Wildcats will continue Pac-10 Conference play with a three-game series at UCLA beginning on Friday, March 27.