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WSU's Five-Run Fifth Dooms Baseball in Loss in Pullman

May 20, 2022

PULLMAN – Sun Devil Baseball got the bats going but were undone by a five-run fifth inning from Washington State in a 10-6 loss on Friday in Pullman.

ASU got 10 hits from its first five batters, including three from Will Rogers and his ninth home run of the year. Sean McLain, Ryan Campos and Nate Baez all tacked on a pair of hits.

The team will look to take the final game of the series tomorrow at 12 p.m. AZT. The game will be available on Pac-12 Washington and over the airwaves on KDUS 1060 AM.
TURNING POINT
After the Sun Devils had taken a 4-2 lead of Will Rogers' ninth homer of the year in the fifth inning, Washington State instantly loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the frame. ASU went to its bullpen but the WSU cleanup hitter was unfazed, working a full count and fouling off two pitches before sending one to deep left field for the go-ahead grand slam. WSU followed with a triple and a sac fly to make it 7-4.
BIG MOMENT
ASU answered with two runs in the top of the sixth. Campos drove in the second with a hard hit ball that bounced right off the pitcher and directly to the force out at first base. While it scored a run, it gave ASU two outs in the inning instead of having runners on first and second with one out. A strikeout would end the inning and effectively stalled the Sun Devil bats for the rest of the evening.
FINAL STRAW
Washington State added some insurance in the ninth inning with a pair of one-out RBI hits after ASU pulled Blake Pivaroff from the game, making it a four-run game as opposed to a more manageable two-run deficit. The Cougars also faced the minimum Sun Devil batters for nine straight outs until Nate Baez and Will Rogers got a pair of two-out infield singles in the top of the ninth before a game-ending flyout ended the momentum 
NOTABLES

  • With his two-run oppo taco in the fifth, Will Rogers moved into a tie for fourth in ASU freshmen history with nine homers. 
  • ASU reached double digit hits for the 24th time in the last 30 games and the 33rd time in 55 games this year. 

INNING BY INNING

First Inning
ASU got a leadoff walk from Lampe and a one-out single from Campos to put runners on the corners but left both stranded. Tulloch worked around a one-out walk and single to strike out the side and keep it scoreless through one. 

Second Inning
Kai Murphy got a one-out single but ASU was unable to do anything with it. WSU got on the board first with a walk and a couple one-out RBI singles but Tulloch was unable to avoid too much damage by getting a double play to escape the frame. 

Third Inning
ASU loaded the bases with one out with three straight singles, scoring its first run of the game on a Will Rogers sac fly. Tulloch gave up a leadoff single but stranded it with two flyouts and a strikeout. 

Fourth Inning
Hunter Haas got a one-out single and stole second on a Magee strikeout. The extra 90 feet proved to be the difference as Joe Lampe beat the shift and singled through the left side for a game-tying RBI single to make it 2-2.  WSU had a one-out baserunner on an infield error but a strikeout and fielder's choice got ASU out of it. 

Fifth Inning
Nate Baez drew a one-out walk and Will Rogers made the Cougars pay with a two-run line drive to opposite right field for his ninth homer of the year and a 4-2 ASU lead. WSU immediately repaid the favor, loading the bases with no outs and then welcoming Christian Bodlovich into the game with a grand slam. A triple and a sac fly made it 7-4.  

Sixth Inning
ASU had a response with a one-out double and walk from Magee and Lampe setting the table for McLain, who laced a first-pitch single back up the middle for an RBI and sending Lampe to third. Campos followed with a tough-luck groundout that bounced off the pitcher and directly to the first baseman but it scored Lampe to get ASU back within a run. WSU came right back with three singles to plate a run but Graham Osman and Blake Pivaroff were able to keep it to just the one run and keep ASU within 8-6. 

Seventh Inning
Rogers got his second hit of the game but a strikeout and a double play had ASU with just the minimum in the frame. Pivaroff retired the side in order as well.

Eighth Inning
A pair of a strikeouts and a first pitch flyout put the Sun Devils down in order. WSU plated a pair of insurance runs on a bloop single to center and a double that beat the shift down the left field line to make it 10-6. 

Ninth Inning
ASU got a pair of two-out infield singles from Baez and Rogers but that would be the extent of the damage.