(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
As has been a theme lately, Arizona State struggled to produce enough runs and fell in another home game by a score of 3-1 to the Utah Utes. The Sun Devils (13-8, 0-4) dropped their fifth straight game and continued to struggle in the Pac-12.
To make matters worse, Utah (7-12, 3-1) entered the game with the worst overall record in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils have scored only 11 runs in their last five games, dating back to when they were swept last weekend against Oregon State.
MVP: Once again, Seth Martinez delivered exactly the outing that the Sun Devils needed from him. The reliable right-hander threw 7 innings while allowing just one earned run, although it was a pivotal one in the eighth inning. Outside of the first and third innings, Martinez rarely ran into any sort of trouble and finally earned the run support he needed in the bottom of the seventh. He exited with the game tied at one, but Eder Erives surrendered the go-ahead run that was charged to Martinez.
His ERA currently stands at 1.94, which establishes him as far and away the best starting pitcher the Sun Devils have at their disposal right now.
Unsung Hero: The Sun Devils hits were scattered so it was hard to choose one guy who stood out, but Andrew Shaps made the greatest impact among the nine guys in the lineup. He had just one hit, but it was a double that tied the game in the seventh inning. David Greer also had a good day at the plate with a double and a walk.
You knew it was over when: Colby Woodmansee and Brian Serven failed to drive in Greer from third base with one out in the eighth against Utah pitcher Jayson Rose. ASU trailed by one run at the time.
Biggest concern: Once again, it was the production from most of the lineup. Greer continues to hit and Woodmansee has been steady this season, but outside of them the Sun Devils are lacking any consistent performers at the plate. That is a big reason why they have dropped five straight games and have not scored more than four runs in a game since March 11.
Stat of the night: 0-for-8, the Sun Devils stat line with runners in scoring position. The seventh and eighth innings were their best chances, but the opportunities were present all night long.
What’s Next: ASU will have to win its final two games to salvage a series win against Utah. The games will be at 6:30 and 12:30 respectively.