April 15, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State defeated the Washington State Cougars 3-1 on Friday night to take the first game of the three-game weekend series. Brady Rodgers (5-2) was magnificent for 6.1 innings, allowing five hits and a run to earn the win and help the ASU improve to 23-9 on the year, 6-4 in Pac-10 play.
It was a classic Friday night match-up of top flight pitchers, as the Rodgers and WSU's Adam Conley allowed a combined two earned runs. But it was the two unearned runs allowed by Conley that were the difference, as ASU scored all of the runs it would need in the fifth.
The Cougars would strike first in the top of the third inning when Cody Bartlett singled to center driving home Jay Ponciano from second base to put Washington State up 1-0.
The Devils would respond in the bottom of the fifth inning when Xorge Carrillo singled up the middle to drive in Matt Newman and tie the game at one. After a sacrifice bunt by Johnny Ruettiger put runners at second and third with two gone, it looked like Conley and the Cougars would escape further damage. Zack MacPhee hit a routine grounder to second baseman Tommy Richards, but the ball went through his legs, allowing both runners to score. That made it 3-1 Devils, a lead Arizona State would not surrender.
The story of the game for ASU was its pitching, as Rodgers struck out one and scattered five hits before giving the way to Alex Blackford, Trevor Williams and Mitchell Lambson. Blackford and Williams combined for 2.1 innings of work with one strike out then Lambson struck out the side in the ninth to earn his fifth save of the year and secure the victory for the Devils.
The Sun Devils will play game two of the series with the Cougars Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.