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Bruins Dominated By ASU In Series Finale Loss

Chris Giovinazzo's ninth inning homer wasn't nearly enough for the Bruins (Photo Credit: Official Site)
Chris Giovinazzo's ninth inning homer wasn't nearly enough for the Bruins (Photo Credit: Official Site)

Sunday was a fitting finale to what was supposed to be a highly competitive series between two of the nation's better teams. Instead, it turned into an exhibition for Arizona St.. As was the case all weekend, the Sun Devils were as solid as can be. They weren't overpowering on the mound, but they were in control of the game and hitting all of their spots. The offense squared up ball after ball and when you do that, you're going to be rewarded. Most impressive on Sunday and all series long was the ASU defense, which covered every inch of the field and played as good of defense as you will see at the college level. In the end they were very deserving winners and Sunday's 12-3 win to cap off the series sweep was as deserving as any could be.

Things started badly for Rob Rasmussen and didn't get much better. Two hitters into the game and he was already down 2-0. Rasmussen didn't get an out in the fifth before being pulled with seven runs (six earned) and seven hits to his name. The Bruin bullpen didn't fare much better either. Erik Goeddel allowed two runs in one inning of relief, Matt Grace allowed one in 0.2 innings and even the normally shutdown reliever Dan Klein surrendered two runs in 2.1 innings. Only Matt Drummond and Mitchell Beacom, who combined to pitch the ninth inning, managed to keep the Sun Devils off of the scoreboard.

For the third consecutive game, the offense did not fare well either. The Bruins had only six hits, with Justin Uribe's two leading the way. Uribe also scored a run, as did Marc Navarro and Chris Giovinazzo, who hit a ninth inning pinch-hit home run. UCLA left just seven runners on base, a number that is a vast improvement over Saturday's 12, although their inability to reach base brings up a whole new issue.

As the 1,921 fans were still finding their seats, Arizona St. had already started with the fireworks. A lead off single was followed by a blasted two-run homer to give the Sun Devils a 2-0 lead.

The Bruins actually evened things up in the second, but it was splendid ASU defense that prevented them from scoring more and possibly putting the Bruins in the driver's seat. A lead off double by Uribe, ground out and Marc Navarro hit by pitch put runners on the corners for UCLA with just one out. Navarro took off for second, but the pitch went to the backstop, allowing Uribe to score from third and Navarro to go all the way to third. A ground out to shortstop by Niko Gallego plated Navarro and the game was tied at two apiece. A single by Trevor Brown kept the inning going and SteveRodriguez followed with a deep fly to center. The Arizona St. centerfield made a tremendous play on the ball though to track it down for the inning's final out, denying Rodriguez an extra base hit that would have certainly scored Brown.

Rasmussen then hurt himself with his defense. After a single started the inning, Rasmussen committed an error on an attempted sacrifice bunt. With two outs, the Sun Devils got the RBI single they needed to score the go-ahead run when the inning should have been over.

A single and two-run homer started the fourth for the Sun Devils in the same fashion as the first. The fifth brought a walk and home run to start the inning, putting Arizona St. up 7-2 and ending Rasmussen's day.

The Sun Devils added one more run in the fifth, then two more in each of the next two innings to put them ahead, 12-2. Giovinazzo's ninth inn