(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
A tough game on the mound for the Arizona State Sun Devils resulted in their second midweek loss of the season, as they San Diego Toreros (13-10) maintained control throughout the game and came out with a 6-3 victory. ASU (13-7) has now dropped four straight games, dating back to their series against Oregon State last weekend.
MVP: There were no true standouts in the game, but ASU did receive a strong performance from Andrew Shaps, who entered the game 0 for his last 11. He had two hits, including an RBI single, his seventh run driven in on the season, and made one of the Sun Devils best defensive plays of the season with a diving catch in centerfield.
Unsung Hero: While he was not sharp throughout his entire outing, Reagan Todd gave the Sun Devils four crucial innings out of the bullpen, allowing them to rest most of their other relievers. He came in after Jordan Aboites struggled to keep the Toreros off base throughout his four innings of work. Todd allowed two runs and just two hits and did not walk anyone in only his second relief appearance of the season.
You knew it was over when: The Toreros piled on runs early in the game against Aboites. ASU battled back on multiple occasions, but USD continued to respond with runs to maintain their lead. Ryan Kirby’s home run in the eighth inning provided insurance and tightened their grip on the lead.
Biggest Concern: Much like the weekend series against the Beavers, ASU’s starting pitching took them out of the game from the get-go. USD scored in four of the first five innings and combined for six runs against three pitchers. By the time the pitching settled down, ASU found themselves in a hole that was tough to climb out of. If the Sun Devils had any room for error, it is in these non-conference games, because pitching will make or break their standing in the Pac-12.
Stat of the game: One, which was the amount of players that didn’t have a hit in the Sun Devil lineup. While David Greer’s 0-for-3 day looks bad on the surface, he had multiple well hit balls into the outfield that nearly went for extra bases and drew a pair of walks.
What’s Next?: ASU returns to Pac-12 play, where they have yet to have success, to face Utah at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for a three game series starting on Thursday.