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Ninth-Inning Collapse Again Dooms Sun Devil Baseball in 6-5 Loss

Feb 25, 2022

PHOENIX — Sun Devil Baseball dropped the series against BYU in a tough 6-5 loss on Friday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. 
The Devils jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and led from the jump but it would be an unfortunate case of deja vu after BYU came from behind to take a ninth-inning lead for the second-straight game, recording a bases-loaded triple while down to its final strike. 
Adam Tulloch was exceptional in his second start for the Sun Devils, going 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts and just two runs allowed on two hits. After giving up the only two hits he has allowed this season in the fourth inning - allowing BYU to make it 3-2 - Tulloch retired seven straight and nine of the last 11 batters he faced to keep the game in the Sun Devils' favor.
Jared Glenn was solid in relief, striking out all four batters he faced. 
Joe Lampe had two hits and Conor Davis had four walks - tied for fifth in Sun Devil single game history - while eight Sun Devils recorded a hit. Unfortunately, ASU continued to struggle in getting the knockout punch to put its opponent away and stranded 10 baserunners on the day.  

Brock Peery mowed down the first two batters he saw in the ninth and brought ASU to eight consecutive outs by way of strikeout. A pair of seeing-eye singles put some pressure on but the big moment came when Peery hit BYU's Ozzie Pratt on an 0-2 pitch - a player who was making his first collegiate plate appearance - to load the bases.  

Peery again got ahead against BYU's nine-hole hitter Brock Watkins behind three straight foul balls and had the whole ballpark thinking he had clipped the outside corner of the plate for a game-winning strike three. But a ball was called and Watkins golfed the next pitch he saw over Kai Murphy's head in right field for a bases-loaded, go-ahead triple to make it 5-4.
Still a one-run game, ASU walked the next three batters between Peery and Graham Osman to score what would become the decisive run with a bases loaded walk to make it 6-4. Sean McLain would hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth that would have evened things up if not for that run that gave the Cougars the insurance to hold on for the win. 

  • Adam Tulloch gave up his first hit of the year in the top of the fourth on a deep infield single to the hot corner that the runner legged out just in time. It ended Tulloch's hitless streak at 7.2 innings to start the year. 
  • The Sun Devils struck out a season-high 14 batters - its most in a regulation game since it had 14 at Cal State Fullerton on March 4, 2020. 
  • Sun Devil pitchers have now inherited 29 baserunners this season, allowing just six to score (20.7 percent) with Glenn and Osman allowing just one of five to score on Friday. 
  • The Sun Devils have led or been tied for 16 of the 18 innings played this weekend.
  • Baez extended his reached base streak to four games highlighted by his eighth inning single that allowed Murphy to score a run.
  • Arizona State continued to play solidly in the field with no errors - marking the fifth time in the first six games it has had one error or less in a game. 
  • After walking just once last night, ASU drew nine on Friday - including a four by Conor Davis and three by Hunter Haas. Unfortunately, ASU still struck out 12 times in the effort. 

First Inning
Left-hander Adam Tulloch started on the mound for Arizona State and was dominant, getting the first two Cougars to ground out and striking out the next batter for the third out.
The Sun Devils got off to a great start against BYU right-hander Janzen Keisel with Joe Lampe starting the game off with a double. After an Ethan Long flyout, Conor Davis drove in the first run of the game on a single. The Cougars retired the next two ASU batters to keep the game 1-0 after the first inning. 
Second Inning
After giving up a leadoff walk, Tulloch settled in and struck out back to back batters. The inning ended after BYU's Hayden Leatham was caught stealing second base. 
Keisel settled after a rough first inning and struck out back to back ASU batters. He then retired Kai Murphy making it three batters up, and three batters down in the bottom of the second.
Third Inning
Two nice defensive plays by the Sun Devils kept Tulloch's no-hitter intact through three innings. 
Hunter Haas led off the third inning with a walk and stole second base after Keisel committed an error on a pick off throw. Joe Lampe then singled, advancing Haas to third. Ethan Long struck out but Joe Lampe stole second on the strikeout. Lampe scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 to ASU. Conor Davis walked, putting runners on first and third for Jacob Tobias who singled bringing in another run for ASU. 
Fourth Inning
BYU's Hayden Leatham flew out to right field to start the inning. Ryan Sepede then hit a double deep into left field, allowing Gamble and Pintar to come home and score, cutting Arizona State's lead to 3-2. Tulloch struck out Mitch McIntyre looking to complete the top of the inning.
At the bottom of the fourth, BYU's Keisel settled in, striking out two Arizona State batters to close out the inning. ASU's Baez also hit a pop fly that BYU caught. 
Fifth Inning
Tolloch bounced back after a rough fourth inning striking out two batters and retiring the side in order. 
Keisel started the fifth inning but after walking Hunter Haas, he was pulled in favor of left hander Cooper Mckeehan. After striking out the first batter he faced, Haas advanced to second after an errant pick off attempt. Ethan Long singled into right field putting runners on the corners. Mckeehan walked Conor Davis to load the bases, Mckeehan retired the next two ASU batters to keep the score at 3-2. 
Sixth Inning
Arizona State retired three batters in a row, retiring BYU's McIntyre, Pintar and Gambill. It marked seven straight batters retired for Tulloch on just 23 total pitches - including just five in the sixth. 
Ryan Campos came up to bat to start off the inning with a single into center field to get on base. BYU then changed out pitchers replacing Mckeehan with Cy Nielson. BYU closed out the inning with Kai Murphy hitting into a double play keeping the score 3-2 going into the seventh. 
Seventh Inning
Tulloch came out for the seventh and after walking the first batter, he struck out the next two batters. After walking the following batter, he was replaced by right hander Jared Glenn. Glenn struck out the next batter keeping the ASU lead intact at 3-2.
Nielsen began the seventh by retiring the first two ASU batters before being pulled for right hander Carter Smith. Smith began by walking back to back batters before being pulled for left handed pitcher Boston Mabeus. He struck out pinch hitter Will Rogers to end the inning. 
Eighth Inning
BYU's Brock Watkins singled to start the inning. ASU settled in and Cougars batters Glenn McIntyre, Pintar and Gambill went down to end the inning.
Arizona State's Sean McLain got walked, then advanced to third as BYU pitcher Peyton Cole attempted to pick-off McLain and threw away the ball. Baez then hit a single out to right field, bringing home McLain to make the game 4-2, ASU. Joe Lampe popped out ending the inning. 
Ninth Inning
Left hander Brock Peery came in to close the game for the Sun Devils and after striking out the first two batters - marking eight straight outs record by way of strikeout. But Peery gave up back-to-back singles and then hit the next batter loading the bases. Down to their final out, the Cougars' Brock Watkins tripled to bring in three runs to take a 5-4 lead. After walking the next two batters to load the bases again, Peery was pulled for left hander Graham Osman. He walked the next batter bringing in another run extending the Cougar lead to 6-4. The next Cougar batter flew out ending the inning. 
The Cougars brought in left hander Justin Reiser who walked Davis who advanced to second on a walk. After striking out the next batter, Mclain singled bringing in a run to cut the BYU lead to 6-5. BYU brought in right hander Reid Mclaughlin who forced Nate Baez to ground out to end the game. 
ASU has the final game of the three-game series vs BYU tomorrow at 1 p.m. AZT. The Saturday matchup will be broadcast live via the ASU Live Stream