(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Despite Barry Bonds not being in attendance like the time before, the Arizona State Sun Devils looked to get a midweek win over the UNLV Rebels on Tuesday night and succeeded in doing so, breaking a stretch of five straight losses behind a final score of 5-3.
Having lost eight of their last 11 and played their last four on the road, the Arizona State Sun Devils came back home, looking to get back on track and sent Friday night starter Eli Lingos to the hill. Lingos only lasted 2/3 of an inning in his last outing, on Friday against Cal, where he allowed two runs on four hits en route to the eventual 9-6 loss.
Riding a few days of rest, Lingos looked much sharper against the Rebels on Tuesday, pitching into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on seven hits, while striking out four.
Lingos was relieved after 5 and 1/3 innings by senior Eder Erives, who shut the door out of the pen with 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings through the end of the game.
ASU’s offense, while not overwhelming, was much better than past games, as the team scored five runs and tallied for 12 hits. Those 12 hits came from eight different players, with Tyler Williams and Zach Cerbo each posting two and Jeremy McCuin collecting three. Lyle Lin had two RBIs on the evening and Williams smashed his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
The hitting started early for the Devils, with ASU taking a 4-0 lead after two innings, then tacking on a run in the fourth. UNLV put three runs up between the fifth and sixth innings, but Erives silenced the suddenly hot Rebel bats to secure the save and keep the score at the 5-3 that would become the final.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Eder Erives. Coming out of the pen, Erives threw 3 and 2/3 hitless innings. He walked two Rebels and struck out seven. In a stretch where ASU’s bullpen has been frequently faulty, his long relief was much needed for the staff.
UNSUNG HERO: Lyle Lin. Lin’s two runs batted in were the difference in the game, he had a sacrifice fly in the first that started the scoring for ASU in the first and an RBI double in the fourth that capped it off.
YOU KNEW IT WAS OVER WHEN: Eder Erives secured the final out of the game, striking out the side in the ninth. ASU’s offense had eight hits in the first four innings, but only two in the final four. UNLV was consistent all game long, so the possibility of a comeback was always in the cards.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Eight different Sun Devils recorded a base hit in this game. The only two that saw a plate appearance and did not get a hit were Ryan Lillard and Hunter Bishop.
BIGGEST CONCERN: After allowing only one error to Cal over the weekend, ASU allowed two in this game. Hunter Bishop’s error in the sixth allowed a run to score and made the game a run closer than it otherwise could have been. That Bishop error was his third of the season, which is more than the rest of the ASU outfield combined
WHAT’S UP NEXT? ASU has a day off tomorrow, then they host the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night, the first game of a three-game series. First pitch on Thursday is at 6:30 P.M.