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Ninth-Inning Comeback Held Off at No. 16 ASU

Mar 27, 2021

PHOENIX (March 27, 2021) – Washington State loaded the bases in the ninth inning but No. 16 Arizona State held off the comeback attempt to hand the Cougars a 5-4 defeat Phoenix Municipal Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars (12-7, 1-4 Pac-12) held a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning but the Sun Devils (14-5, 3-2 Pac-12) took a 5-4 lead following an RBI-single and a WSU error. In the ninth, the Cougars loaded the bases with two outs but ASU ended the game with a flyout.
Five players recorded multiple-hit games for Washington State led by three-hit performances by Justin Van De Brake and Jacob McKeon. Van De Brake gave WSU a 4-3 lead with a two-run double to cap a four-run sixth inning while pinch-hitter Keith Jones II added an RBI-single in the frame. Cougar starter Zane Mills bounced back from a tough luck first inning and worked into the seventh inning, allowing just three earned runs and struck out five.
Junior Kyle Manzardo, who was held out of the lineup for the second straight game with a tight hamstring, came off the bench to pinch hit in the ninth and was intentionally walked, giving him the WSU record with a 43-game on-base streak. Manzardo breaks Brady Everett's record of 42 games set in 2005.
ASU took advantage of a couple perfectly placed bloop doubles just inside both foul lines in the first inning that led to three runs. The Cougars threatened in the fourth, putting runners on second and third with one out but Sun Devil starter Tyler Thornton ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts.
In the fifth, WSU again threatened as Kodie Kolden singled through the right side and Collin Montez later drew a two-out walk but Thornton again turned away the Cougars with a popout.
Washington State used a couple clutch hits to put up four runs in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Keith Jones II delivered an RBI-single back up the middle, a second run came across on a fielder's choice groundout and Van De Brake drove the first pitch he saw into the right centerfielder gap for a two-out two-run double and a 4-3 Cougar lead.
In the sixth, Mills had retired nine straight before running into trouble in the sixth after hitting the first two batters. With runners on the corners and nobody out, Mills struck out the next batter, the follow batter was called out for batters interference and the next batter flew out to left for the third out.
In the seventh, ASU again put two runners on with two outs and the Cougar defense came up big. The Sun Devils hit a slow roller to Kodie Kolden at shortstop who fired to first but it was late but the ASU runner tried to score from second on the play and Cougar first baseman Tristan Peterson delivered a strike to catcher Jake Meyer to get the potential tying run at the plate and end the inning.
In the eighth, ASU put a runner on with one out but he moved to third after a pair of wild pitches. Following a walk, the next batter single to centerfield to bring in the tying run but on the play, the ball was misplayed in centerfield and the runner from first raced around for the go-ahead run.
Justin Van De Brake singled to CF in the 1st to extend his on-bases streak to 14 games
Tristan Peterson walked in the 4th to extend his on-base streak to 19 games
The series wraps up Sunday at 12:05 p.m.