By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Unfortunately for Arizona, there are three outs in a baseball inning.
It was the third out that proved crucial to Arizona in Sunday's 11-7 loss to Arizona State in front of a crowd of 3,459 at Packard Stadium in Tempe. Ten of ASU's runs came with two outs.
"We simply couldn't shut the door," UA coach Jerry Kindall said. "If we had been able to get an out, it would have been an altogether different story."
The Wildcats jumped on the scoreboard first, leaping out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth, thanks in part to Menno Wickey's fourth home run of the season.
In the bottom of the fifth, UA pitcher Clay Crossan (2-0) retired the first two batters but then allowed four runs, two earned, as the Sun Devils went on a tear. They would score six runs before the bullpen could stop the flow.
"Clay was in excellent control through the first four innings," Kindall said. "We've been waiting for him to pitch that kind of ball for us. Now he has to sustain that throughout the game."
Wildcat reliever Jason Frierott (2-1, 3 saves) had little success in the next inning. He allowed five runs and suffered the loss.
Sun Devil starter Jason Bond (3-1) was ineffective, allowing five runs on 10 Wildcat hits. Reliever Derek Mickleson quieted the UA bats to earn the win and up his record to 2-0.
The loss dropped UA to 13-12-1, 1-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference South. ASU is 18-5 and 2-1 in the Six Pac.
The silver lining in the dark clouds last weekend was the Wildcats' ability to win at home. Inability to win at home spells certain death in the Six Pac.
"Win at home and split on the road is the proven formula," Kindall said.
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Yesterday's Six Pac games in California were rained out. But throughout the first weekend of conference play, Stanford finds itself on top with a 3-1 record. ASU is next at 2-1. Southern Cal is 1-0 after defeating UCLA. Arizona is fourth at 1-2, Cal is 1-3 and UCLA sits in the cellar at 0-1.
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