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Sun Devil Baseball Homers Thrice But Can't Find Shutdown Inning in Loss at UW

Apr 11, 2021

SEATTLE – After earning the series victory on the road on Saturday, the Sun Devil Baseball team struggled to get a shutdown inning when it needed in a 13-6 loss at Washington on Sunday afternoon in Seattle.
 
ASU (18-9, 7-5 Pac-12) homered three times in the contest, rallying from two big holes to keep the game interesting into the sixth inning but the Huskies (11-16, 3-9 Pac-12) pulled away down the stretch to take the series finale.
 
Drew Swift, Jack Moss and Kai Murphy homered for ASU and all six Arizona State runs came by way of the long ball. 
 
After falling into an early 4-0 hole, Swift cut the deficit to two in the fifth with his two-run oppo shot. But Washington mounted a massive two-out rally in the bottom half of the frame to extend the lead back to five runs. 
 
Again ASU had an answer, mounting a two-out rally of its own in the top of the sixth rallying behind a Jack Moss solo shot followed a couple batters later by Kai Murphy's three-run tater to climb back with 7-6. 
 
Again though, Washington had an answer in the bottom of the frame with another three-run crooked inning to go up 10-6. ASU couldn't respond beyond that as Washington was able to pad its lead with three more runs down the stretch. 
 
To this point in the season, ASU had been exceptional in limiting opponents with runners in scoring position (.209) and with two outs (.171), but Washington overcame the numbers by going .389 (7-for-18) and .385 (5-for-13) in those categories. 

TURNING POINT
The sixth inning proved to be dagger for the Sun Devils. Down to the final strike in the bottom of the fifth, Washington rallied for three two-out runs to go ahead 7-2. ASU rallied in the sixth though, riding two-out homers from Jack Moss (solo) and Kai Murphy (three-run shot) to climb back within a run at 7-6 with the momentum on their side. ASU couldn't hold the Husky offense in check though, recording four straight hits (three for extra bases) to score three runs and go ahead 10-6 with a lead ASU would not rally from. 

INNING BY INNING 

1st Inning
A two-out Hunter Jump single was the extent of the offensive action for ASU. Joe Hauser issued a leadoff walk but recorded three straight outs to strand the runner at third. 
 
2nd Inning
ASU went down in order but Hauser returned the favor thanks to a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around Sam Ferri gunning down Nick Kresnak trying to steal second after a one-out single. 
 
3rd Inning
Kai Murphy led off with an infield single and took second on a sac bunt. Husky right fielder Christian Jones robbed Drew Swift of an RBI an extra bases with a sweet diving stab in the outfield and a loud out to center from Hunter Haas ended the threat. The Huskies racked up four base hits, leading to four runs in the bottom of the inning to put ASU in an early hole. 
 
4th Inning
Ethan Long worked a one-out walk and took second on a wild pitch but back-to-back strikeouts kept him there. Washington threatened in the bottom half with runners on first and second and one out but Hunter Haas turned a nice double play to keep ASU in striking distance.
 
5th Inning
The Sun Devils finally broke through with one swing of the bat. A leadoff walk by Sam Ferri looked in threat of being stranded after back-to-back uncompetitive strikeouts but Drew Swift put the team on his back on the first pitch he saw, lining one to opposite right field for his third homer of the year and bringing ASU back within 4-2.  The Huskies came right back to score three two-out runs in the bottom half to go back on top 7-2.
 
6th Inning
ASU came right back with a massive two-out rally of its own. Down to the final strike of the frame, Jack Moss took a full-count offering over the wall in right for his second homer of the weekend and third of the week to get back within four runs. Joe Lampe singled and Sam Ferri walked to bring Kai Murphy to the plate. UW went to the pen for the left-on-left matchup, but it didn't matter as Murphy took Stu Flesland III for a ride over the wall in right for a three-run shot to bring ASU back within a run. The Sun Devil pen again struggled to get the shutdown frame it needed as Washington came right back with three runs to make it 10-6 
 
7th Inning
ASU had a pair of leadoff baserunners but couldn't bring any home. Washington padded its lead with a squeeze bunt in the bottom half to go up by five.  
 
8th Inning
ASU went down in order and some wild pitching led to a Washington insurance run without recording a hit in the inning.  
 
9th Inning
ASU went down without much fanfare to cap the game off.