SEATTLE -- Washington rallied for three runs with two outs in the eighth inning to topple eighth-ranked Arizona State 9-7 in the opening game of a three-game series Friday night at Husky Ballpark.
After second baseman Josh Cushing hit a two-out double that scored Chris Baker from first to tie the game up at 7-7, freshman catcher Joey Morgan delivered the go-ahead RBI single that scored pinch-runner Kyle London.
“I knew this guy was throwing around 96-97, so I knew that I had to get the barrel to something,” Morgan said of his single off ASU closer and Pac-12 saves leader Ryan Burr. “Luckily, he hung a slider and I got the barrel to it and dinked it to center.”
Braden Bishop followed with a RBI single to give Washington (21-14, 7-9 Pac-12) a two-run cushion.
Troy Rallings (3-1), who came into the game in the eighth inning, allowed a one-out single in the ninth before retiring the next two Sun Devils’ hitters to end the game.
The three-run eighth inning came after Arizona State (23-11, 11-5) scored once in the eighth to break a 6-6 deadlock.
“I thought it was good for our guys because we have lost a few of these,” said Husky Coach Lindsay Meggs in reference to Washington's six one-run losses in Pac-12 play. “So the fact that we hung in there -- didn’t play particularly well on defense and gave them a few opportunities -- but nobody quit. And we made as much use as you can out of 27 outs and found some ways to score some runs.”
The Huskies hit three two-run homers in the game -- including one in the seventh inning by Bishop that tied the score at 6-6. It was Bishop’s fourth homer of the season.
Washington jumped out to the early lead but saw it evaporate by the fourth inning.
Branden Berry gave Washington the 2-0 lead with a long home run in the first inning. After a two-out single by designated hitter Austin Rei, who was making his first appearance after missing the previous 29 games with a left-hand injury, Berry took the 1-0 offering from Arizona State starter Seth Martinez just fair down the left-field line. It was his sixth homer of the season -- his third in four games -- and extended Berry’s career-high hit streak to 14 games.
Arizona State cut the lead in half in the second, but Will Sparks gave UW the 4-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning on another two-run shot. Sparks took a 1-2 pitch that carried just beyond the reach of centerfielder Johnny Sewald in left-center. It was Sparks’ first home run of the season and just the second for the senior in his career.
The Sun Devils scored four runs in the fourth to take the lead away from the Huskies. ASU scored the first run on a throwing error by pitcher Noah Bremer, and with two outs and two on, Sewald crushed a pitch from Bremer well over the right-field wall for a three-run shot. It was the first homer of the season for Sewald and gave ASU a 5-4 lead.
Bremer only lasted four-plus innings after giving up a lead-off double to Colby Woodmansee to start the fifth. He allowed a season high seven hits and gave up six runs – only three of them earned – including Woodmansee, who came around to score on a two-out single against Brandon Choate that made the score 6-4.
Martinez was cruising along and had not allowed a hit since the second inning until Bishop hit his seventh-inning homer. After Joey Morgan walked, Bishop deposited the first pitch he saw over the left-center fence.
ASU outhit UW 11-10, but the Huskies made the most of theirs. Bishop was 2-for-5 with three RBI, Berry was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Cushing was 2 for 4 with an RBI.