BB: #2 pitching woes continue as Cats fall at ASU

BB: #2 pitching woes continue as Cats fall at ASU

PHOENIX - The ninth-ranked Arizona State baseball team used four-run frames in the first and eighth innings to hand No. 24 Arizona a 13-7 defeat Sunday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Colby Woodmansee paced a 16-hit offensive attack for the Sun Devils, who chased Arizona starter Xavier Borde from the game before the lefty recorded an out. Woodmansee's two-run double proved to be the early dagger, but the home side was hardly done jumping in front.

Releiver Austin Schnabel settled down the Arizona State bats in the first, retiring all three hitters he faced in relief of Borde. But after Bobby Dalbec's solo home run brought the Wildcats within three runs in the second, Schnabel was knocked around for three runs in the bottom of the second.

To its credit, Arizona (22-11, 7-7 Pac-12) fought back over the next few innings, but ultimately the early deficit was too much to overcome.

Kevin Newman's first career home run – a two-run shot to left-center – put the Wildcats on the board again in the third. Single runs in the fourth and fifth cut the margin to 7-5 and it appeared things were tightening up.

Robby Medel gave Arizona some steady relief – four innings with just two runs allowed – but he was unable to turn away the Sun Devils in the fifth. Trevor Allen doubled and scored on Joey Bielek's two-bagger, and a passed ball later allowed Bielek to re-extend the margin to four runs.

Arizona had a golden opportunity to regain momentum in the sixth.

The bases were loaded with two down when Arizona State lifted starter Ryan Kellogg in favor of reliever Eric Melbostad. The righty entered to face Scott Kingery, but a soft-liner stranded three.

Melbostad, who earned a save for 3.1 innings of relief to close the game, escaped trouble again in the seventh when two were on with one out, but a fly out and strikeout turned away the Wildcats.

The relief effort saved the Sun Devils' bullpen for Monday's finale. Arizona utilized a season-high eight pitchers.

Arizona State (23-9, 11-3) opened the game up with a four-run bottom of the eighth, taking a commanding 13-5 lead to the last inning.

The Wildcats tacked on two harmless runs in the final frame against Melbostad, who pitched the final 3.1 innings of the game to earn his second save of the year.

Kellogg (W, 6-1) earned the win for his 5.2 innings of work. The lefty scattered 10 hits and was charged with five runs – four earned – with six strikeouts.

Borde (L, 2-1) suffered the loss after surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning.

Jake Peevyhouse, who homered and delivered the walk-off hit on Saturday night, collected three more hits and scored twice. Woodmansee was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four batted in behind Peevyhouse.

The series will conclude on Monday evening at 7 p.m. (MST) with a live television broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. The Arizona IMG Sports Network will also have a live radio broadcast on 1290 AM.

GAME NOTES: Bobby Dalbec reached base for the 33rd-straight game to open the season. His solo home run in the second inning was his team-leading eighth of the season – most for a Wildcat since Rob Refsnyder also hit eight in 2012 … Dalbec also extending his hitting streak to 10 games … Kevin Newman's two-run home run in the third inning was the first of his career. The homer came in his 582nd career at-bat … Scott Kingery hit safely for the ninth-consecutive game … Arizona collected four extra base hits and now has an extra base hit in 22-straight games.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.