(Pullman, WA) – Down by five runs with one out in the top of the ninth inning, Marcel Champagnie hits a three run home run. With an 0-2 count and two outs, Ryan Sontag hits a two run home run to tie the ballgame. And after all the previous excitement, Ike Davis sends the first pitch he sees over the right field fence for a three run home run, resurrecting the Arizona State Sun Devils.
On Sunday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field, Washington State and Arizona State competed in the rubber game of their three game Pac-10 series. Trading the lead back and forth all afternoon, ASU’s improbable eight run ninth proved too much to overcome, giving the Sun Devils the series with the 16 to 13 win.
The Cougars scored three runs very quickly in the first as Travis Coulter led off with a walk and Scott Suttmeier singled. Paul Gran brought his teammates home with a double down the first base line, and he would score on a Jared Prince single. ASU would immediately go to their bullpen, replacing Stephen Sauer with Tommy Rafferty who would hold WSU down over the next couple of innings.
In the third, the Devils would go on an offensive tear as Davis hit a grand slam over the right field fence. A WSU pitching change from Prince to Andrew Davis wouldn’t help, as Matt Newman singled home one more ASU run and Raoul Torrez sacrificed home another. A Sontag bunt singled loaded the bases once again and WSU would make another pitching change, bringing in Steve Kost to face Brett Wallace. This time a laser shot off the first pitch ended up in first basemen Jim Murphy’s glove and as he touched first base to double up the runner, the inning was over.
ASU would score an additional run in the fourth and again in the fifth before the Cougars answered. A pair of well placed RBI doubles by Alex Burg and Suttmeier would bring in Reyes Dorado from the ASU bullpen. After a walk came controversy as Murphy hit a ball near the top of the right field fence. WSU head coach Donnie Marbut would debate each umpire, contending that the ball hit the top of the fence and should be ruled a home run. Unfortunately, Marbut would lose the argument and Murphy would end up stranded at third base, however two additional runs came home on the blast.
More Cougar runs followed in the late innings as Burg hit a solo home run well over the right field fence in the sixth. In the seventh ASU would shuffle the defense, but a Greg Lagreid sacrifice to right would bring home a run. After a walk, Shea Vucinich would clear the bases with a shot to the left field corner, scoring three more. And then in the eighth Gran hit a solo home run of his own over the left field fence.
After all the defensive changes, moves and jumble that is the scorebook, Davis gets the win for Arizona State. Ike is credited with a total of 2.2 innings pitched over his multiple mound appearances on the afternoon. Ross Humes was the victim of the Sun Devils offensive explosion in the ninth and is saddled with his second loss of the weekend.
In all 5,313 fans enjoyed a great weekend of Pac-10 baseball, resulting in the biggest series crowd in Pullman since 1990.