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Sun Devils lose heartbreaker to Stanford

(Photo: ASU Athletics)

The stands were packed again at Packard Stadium Saturday night, but it seemed like the same great show had another re-run, as No. 8 Arizona State dropped the second game of the series in heartbreaking fashion against No. 25 Stanford, 9-8 in 11 innings.

Freshman sensation Ryan Kellogg toed the rubber for the Sun Devils (29-14-1) and got roughed up early as Stanford right fielder Austin Slater hit a two-run shot to put the Cardinal up in the first. Arizona State’s Michael Benjamin responded with a solo shot of his own over the left field wall. Trever Allen blasted his eighth homerun of the season that highlighted the Sun Devils three-run bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Jake Peevyhouse got the Sun Devils started with a leadoff triple that looked to be four feet foul, much to the chagrin of the Stanford dugout. ASU ended up getting three runs in the inning.

Kellogg settled down after a rough start and held Stanford in check until the freshman gave up a three-run opposite field homerun to Austin Wilson in the seventh to tie the game 7-7. The freshman went seven innings, gave up seven runs on nine hits while striking out four Cardinal batters.

The game would go into extra innings, as the Sun Devils couldn’t push a run across in the ninth. Ryan Burr pitched two and two-thirds innings of relief and it seemed to be too long of an outing for the freshman. In the 11th, Burr walked three straight batters and eventually gave up the game-winning hit to Stanford first basemen Brian Ragira.

The Sun Devils almost came back in the bottom of the 11th. RJ Ybarra doubled to left and later scored on a Trever Allen single to left. With the base loaded and two outs, Kaasey Coffman hit a groundball to second that was bobbled, slid headfirst in a last-gasp effort, and was called out on a bang-bang play at first to end the ball game.

“I felt good about our team. We’ve come back in bigger situations. I was just hoping we would keep getting the next guy up and come up with that clutch hit,” senior Matt Dunbar said.

Benjamin and Allen highlighted the Sun Devil offense Saturday as Benjamin went 3-for-6 and was a triple away from the cycle. Allen finished 4-for-5 with a homerun, double, single and 2 RBI.

ASU continued to grind it out with this talented Stanford squad for the second straight night. “Thought out of the last few of weeks, we’ve really been getting those clutch hits. The baseball gods decided to put one against us,” Dunbar said.

Arizona State looks to avoid the series sweep against Stanford on Sunday afternoon.

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