(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Utah Utes defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 6-5 Friday in Salt Lake City, splitting the series and giving the Utes their first win against the Sun Devils since joining the Pac-12 conference.
Both teams wavered on the mound early, but while Utah pitcher Dalton Carroll leveled out, Ryan Kellogg was merely mediocre throughout his entire outing.
ASU was on the board first after a leadoff Johnny Sewald single and three consecutive walks by Utah pitcher Dalton Carroll gave ASU its first run of the game. Carroll continued to struggle into the third inning, throwing 76 pitches through just three innings.
Kellogg gave up six hits and a run through the first three innings, the run coming from Utah left fielder Andre Jackson who knocked an RBI double to left center, his fifth of the season, that scored Cole Taylor to tie it up in the second inning.
Kellogg loaded the bases again with two outs in the bottom of the fourth after hitting a batter but managed to strikeout the last batter swinging to end the inning and strand three runners.
Utah put another run on the board in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI single. The lead didn’t last long however, as the recently hot bat of Brian Serven was present again tonight, smashing one inches fair of the left field foul post to tie the game back up 2-2.
It was the seventh inning that would put the biggest stitch in ASU’s side. Kellogg gave up a leadoff homerun to left field, followed by a double down the right field line that ended his less-than-average outing and brought Jordan Aboites to the mound for the Sun Devils.
With no outs and a runner in scoring position, Aboites fumbled a sac bunt to put two runners on with no outs. A single and a sac-fly would tack on two more insurance runs for Utah, making the score 5-2 Utes by the end of the inning.
A deflated Sun Devil team could only muster one hit in the eighth inning, and continued its miscues from the mound in the next frame. Right-handed pitcher David Graybill replaced Aboites but his luck was no better than his two predecessors. A single and an error put two men on at which point Graybill hit two consecutive batters to put Utah up 6-2 going into the ninth.
As is common with this never-say-die Sun Devil team, ASU was able to get a rally going in the ninth, the first time the Sun Devils showed life all evening. Colby Woodmansee slammed an RBI double down the left field line, while a run off a balk put ASU back within one with two outs in the ninth. However, ASU could not overcome the fatal seventh inning to pull out the victory tonight, stranding a total of eight batters and were 1-for-9 for runners in scoring position.
ASU will play the last game of the series Saturday at 4 p.m. in Salt Lake City. The Pac-12 Networks will be on the broadcast.
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