(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
In the opener of a two-game series with Cal State Fullerton, Arizona State dropped their third straight contest, losing to the Titans by a score of 10-4.
In what has become a rather consistent story this season with ASU, the Sun Devil pitching staff struggled to command the strike zone, issuing eight walks over the evening.
Starting pitcher Ryan Hingst threw 3 and 1/3 innings in the game, allowing only one hit and one run, while striking out two. Hingst was one of seven Sun Devil pitchers to take the mound in the game.
ASU started the scoring early, with Lyle Lin and Carter Aldrete singles giving the team an early 2-0 lead. They tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning, but Fullerton took over after that, scoring five runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to take a 6-4 lead.
A four-run ninth inning for Fullerton would give them a 10-4 lead that would eventually be the final score.
Player of the Game: Blake Workman. He relieved John Gavin in the fifth inning, throwing four innings. He struck out four batters and allowed three hits to pick up the win.
Unsung Hero: Chris Hudgins. The Fullerton catcher had his team’s first RBI of the game on a fielder’s choice and drove in the ninth run of the game as well on a triple in the ninth. He went 2-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
You knew it was over when: Nick Pacheco tripled to right-center field with no outs in the top of the ninth. This triple doubled the Fullerton lead, increasing it from 6-4 to 8-4.
Biggest Concern: ASU pitchers allowed eight walks in the contest. Of the nine Fullerton runs that scored, four of them were on batters that reached base via the walk. That means half of the Titan batters that were walked would eventually score.
Stat of the Day: (9) The number of multi-hit games Lyle Lin has in the 2017 season. Lin went 2-for-4 in this game, giving him 22 hits on the season, a .440 batting average through 12 games and 50 at-bats.
What’s Next?: Tomorrow night, ASU will host Fullerton in the second game of the two-game series. First pitch is at 6:30 and ASU’s starter is TBA.
Nick Badders is a baseball beat writer for the Walter Cronkite Sports Network. You can follow him on Twitter @BadderUpSports.