ASU third baseman Brett Wallace broke the 7-7 deadlock, ripping an RBI-single to center field with one out in the top of the ninth off right-hander Brandon Crawford (1-1) to send home left fielder Ryan Sontag. Wallace finished the afternoon going 3-for-5 at the plate with two homers, three runs and four RBI. Following one walk and one base-hit, catcher Petey Paramore belted a three-run home run to right field, extending the Sun Devils' lead to 11-7.
Arizona State right-hander Tommy Rafferty (10-0) earned the victory, allowing three runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings of relief. Crawford absorbed his first collegiate loss on the mound, surrendering four runs and two hits in one inning of relief. UCLA right-hander Jason Novak hurled three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, scattering three hits while recording three strikeouts.
UCLA was led at the plate by second baseman Alden Carrithers, who went 3-for-4 with one run, one RBI and one walk. Third baseman Jermaine Curtis was 3-for-6 with one run and one RBI. Center fielder Tim Murphy went 2-for-4 with two RBI, and right fielder Brady Dolan went 2-for-5 with two runs.
In the 9th inning though, you had ASU's best hitters coming up, all of whom have quicker swings, get the ball in the air and are very patient. This was not a good situation for Crawford, who struggles with his command (not surprisingly so considering he is our shortstop and today was only his second career pitching appearance) and is a fly ball pitcher.
Sending Crawford out there to start the 9th was already a mistake, but sticking with him once they had men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out was the bigger mistake. You had ASU's two best hitters coming to the plate in Brett Wallace (a lefty) and Petey Paramore (a switch hitter who's better lefty). In that situation you've got to bring Lafferty in, a left hander who throws a two seamer, curveball and changeup. That combination is your best shot at a double play and most importantly, the left handed pitcher has a better chance at throwing the offspeed pitches down and away, where both Wallace and Paramore struggle to get the ball in the air.