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Arizona State Bullpen Drives 5-1 Comeback Victory

After Arizona State starting pitching stole the show on Thursday and Friday, the ASU bullpen decided it was their turn.

The ASU bullpen thew six scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four, in route to a 5-1 come from behind victory for the Sun Devils.

"The starters know we will be in there to back them up," said junior reliever Matthew Dunbar. Dunbar threw 3 1/3 shutout innings in relief of starter Darin Gillies (3 IP 5 H 1 ER).

Dunbar entered the game in the fourth inning with runners on second and third and nobody out.

"I'm just trying to minimize," said Dunbar about his mentality when entering a game with runners on base. "Basically just trying to not give up any (runs), at most one. I just have to do my job for the team."

Arizona State bats were held quiet most of the game as Oregon State freshman Jace Fry held the Sun Devils scoreless through seven innings.

With two on and one out in the bottom of the eight, Abe Ruiz blooped a single into centerfield, scoring Andrew Aplin. Two battes later James McDonald broke the 1-1 tie with an RBI single into centerfield. Max Rossiter came up next and belted a 3-run home run over the left field fence to break the game open.

"He threw a fastball in and I just tried to put a good swing on it," said Rossiter. "Right when I hit it I knew it was out, I got good metal on it and luckily it went over the fence."

Jake Barrett came in and closed the game out for the second straight day. The victory puts ASU back at .500 in the Pac-12, 6-6.

"Today was a huge game," said head coach Tim Esmay. "You lose today your 5-7 (in conference) we gained it back, we are 6-6 now and we are back in the hunt," said Esmay.

The Sun Devils travel to Albuquerque, N.M for a mid-week series agains the University of New Mexico. Next weekend the Sun Devils return home to face the USC Trojans.