May 7, 2016
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Oregon couldn’t hold a three-run eighth inning lead for the second straight day as Arizona State rallied for a 9-8 win on Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Saturday night.
How it happened: Oregon (21-19, 9-11 Pac-12) jumped out to an early lead behind the hot bat of A.J. Balta. The Ducks left fielder, who had a homer and three RBI in Friday’s game, picked up his fourth RBI of the series with a one-out single that scored Austin Grebeck from second. The Ducks added to the lead in the third with a two-run, two-out rally. After Balta reached on a passed ball on strike three and a walk by Jake Bennett, Nick Catalano ripped a two-run double just inside third base to put Oregon on top 3-0. Kyle Kasser made it 4-0 in the fourth with a run-scoring double that scored Tim Susnara. ASU cut the lead to one with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Oregon got all three back in the top of the sixth. Susnara answered with a solo home run to right field to push the lead back to two, and then Bennett delivered a bases-loaded double that scored Grebeck and Kasser to push the lead to 7-3. ASU cut the lead back to two with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, before Oregon added a run in the top of the eighth. Kasser came through with a huge hit driving in Grebeck to put Oregon ahead 8-5. ASU rallied again with two runs in the bottom of the eight, but Travis Moniot made a spectacular play on a ball hit hard up the middle, that would have scored the tying run, to start a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Arizona State (28-15, 10-10 Pac-12) finished the rally in the ninth inning scoring two runs to beat Oregon and win the series.
Box score notes: Balta has seven RBI in Oregon’s three games this week. He had three against San Diego on Monday as well as three on Friday night vs. ASU … Susnara’s home run was his second of the season and his first since Feb. 21 at San Diego State … Brac Warren took the loss allowing two runs in the ninth inning.
On deck: Oregon and Arizona State will wrap up the three-game series Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Neither team has announced its starter.