April 27, 2012
PULLMAN, Wash. - The 23rd-ranked Arizona State baseball team used solid hitting at the top of its order to defeat Washington State 7-4 on Friday night at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman, Wash.
Deven Marrero recorded a season-high three hits and finished a home run short of a cycle, Andrew Aplin hit a two-run homer and Joey DeMichele collected three hits and two runs for the Sun Devils (25-16, 10-9).
Starting right-hander Brady Rodgers (7-2) gave up three runs on four hits and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings to earn his seventh win of the season.
Right-hander Jake Barrett (7) got his seventh save of the season after closing out the ninth inning.
The Sun Devils took an early three-run lead in the first inning behind consecutive doubles by Marrero and DeMichele, and a fielding error by Washington State. A fly ball by Beau Maggi was dropped by the Cougar center fielder, which allowed DeMichele to score from third and James McDonald, who reached on a hit by pitch, from first.
Marrero gave ASU a 4-0 lead in the second inning on a two-out RBI triple after a single by Aplin.
The Cougars (21-17, 7-8) cut the deficit, 4-2, in the bottom of the second frame on a two-run double after Rodgers put runners on base on a hit by pitch and a walk.
A two-run homer to right field by Aplin highlighted a three-run seventh inning for the Devils as they stretched their advantage to five, 7-2. DeMichele hit a single before Abe Ruiz drove him home with a RBI double down the right-field line to score ASU's third run.
Three singles and a walk led to a pair of runs for Washington State in the bottom of the seventh inning to bring the Cougars within three, 7-4.
Left-hander Matt Dunbar replaced Rodgers in the seventh inning with one out and runners on first and second, and struck out the first batter he faced. He allowed a run to score on one hit in the frame before pitching a perfect eighth inning.
Cougars starting right-hander J.D. Lackenby (4-4) took the loss after conceding four runs, including two earned, on four hits.
The Sun Devils return to Bailey-Brayton Field on Saturday for game two against Washington State. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and Sun Devil Sports Network will have the call on The Fan AM 1060.
Game notes: Aplin's home run was his first in conference play this season...this is the first conference road win for the Devils since March 18 against UCLA...Rodgers walked a season-high five batters...attendance was 657...game time was 3 hours, 14 minutes.