Big Hit Eludes Sun Devil Baseball in 11-9 Loss to #18 Stanford in 12 Innings
PHOENIX -- Sun Devil Baseball was not without its chances on Saturday, with numerous opportunities to take the series from #18 Stanford in regulation and in extra innings. But in the end, free bases and the inability to get the big play in the big moment cost the Sun Devils in an 11-9 loss in 12 innings to the Cardinal to even the series.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a seven run lead early but the Cardinal clawed back behind a grand slam and some timely runs while taking advantage of the free bases offered by the Devils to tie things at 8-8 in the eighth inning.
ASU (19-10, 8-6 Pac-12) had the winning run in scoring position in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th innings but simply could not get the hit or the play it needed to end the game. The Cardinal (21-7, 7-4 Pac-12) took advantage with a three-run 12th inning and ASU was unable to mount the comeback in the bottom half.
The Sun Devils had a season-high six doubles in the game and saw multiple hit efforts from Drew Swift, Sean McLain, Jack Moss and Hunter Haas with Moss leading the way with three. Moss, Haas, McLain and Sam Ferri all had two RBIs with Ferri's coming on a two-run shot in the third to make it 7-0.
ASU had 14 hits but stranded 12 runners on base.
The Cardinal came right back with a five-run fourth and chasing Justin Fall in the process after a grand slam and a solo shot to get close. Stanford picked away from there, including two unearned runs in the eighth after a leadoff error and hit-by-pitch would both come around to tie to score at 8-8. Four of Stanford's runs in the game came from free passes on walks, errors and hit by pitches.
ASU's inability to walk it off with runners in scoring position spoiled some herculean efforts from the ASU bullpen from Cam Deniie and Will Levine. Dennie gave ASU 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to keep it a two-run game while Levine was foiled by two Sun Devil errors with just two of his five runs allowed being earned despite going a season-high 5.0 innings and making big pitch after big pitch in extras to continue giving ASU a chance.
The Sun Devil will still have an opportunity to take the series tomorrow with the rubber match scheduled for 12:30 p.m. AZT.