UW baseball team loses first game at Safeco Field

SEATTLE — Arizona State ace Mike Leake earned his seventh victory of the year and catcher Carlos Ramirez hit his ninth home run of the season to help the third-ranked Sun Devils beat the Washington baseball team 3-1 on Friday night at Safeco Field.

The Huskies, who had beaten Oregon State and Arizona the past two years at Safeco, suffered their first-ever loss at the home of the Mariners. They dropped to 10-16 on the season and 1-3 in Pac-10 play. Arizona State improved to 21-5 overall and 6-1 in the conference, good for first place.

Leake, a junior right-hander, improved his season record to 7-1. He worked 72/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out 10.

Washington reliever Geoff Brown (1-3), a Jackson High School alum, suffered the loss, allowing two runs over 21/3 innings after relieving freshman starter Aaron West, who gave up a run over 32/3 innings.

With ASU leading 2-1, Ramirez led off the seventh inning with a home run to left field. Ramirez had an RBI single in the top of the third to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead.

Washington tied the game in the bottom of the fourth as Troy Scott walked, moved to second on a balk and then scored on a two-out single from catcher Brett Wilcox.

ASU broke through in controversial fashion in the sixth. With two outs and, Raoul Torrez blooped a ball to left that fell in front of on-rushing left fielder Julien Pollard. Drew Maggi, running from first with two down, scored on the play on a close call at the plate as the home plate umpire ruled that the tag wasn’t successfully made, leading to a vehement argument from UW coach Ken Knutson.

ASU took advantage of a pair of walks to score the game’s first run in the top of the third. With runners at first and second, both aboard on free passes, Ramirez looped a single to shallow center, plating a run to make it 1-0.

The Sun Devils threatened again in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs. But after a force at the plate and a shallow flyout, Brown came on and got a strikeout to end the inning with the score still 1-0.

Washington tied the game in the bottom of the fourth as Troy Scott walked, moved to second on a balk and then scored on a two-out single from catcher Brett Wilcox.

ASU had another chance in the fifth when Jason Kipnis, trying to score from first on a two-out double from Riccio Torrez, fell down between third and home and was thrown out at the plate, keeping the score at 1-1.

ASU lefty Mitchell Lambson came on in the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded. He got Wilcox to ground out sharply to first to end the inning, then pitched the ninth for his second save of the year.

The Huskies and Devils continue the three-game series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday at Husky Ballpark. Sunday’s series finale gets underway at noon. Both games will air live on KKNW AM-1150.

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