(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)
Coming off the thrill of a four-run ninth inning resulting in a walk-off win against Washington State on Sunday, Arizona State suffered a reversal in fortune on Tuesday night in Las Vegas, losing to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 13-12.
The Sun Devils went into the final frame leading 12-9 after trailing 9-5 following the fifth inning. Ryan Hingst, who had pitched two scoreless innings entering the ninth, gave up a run six pitches in after walking Nick Ames and allowing an RBI double to Corey Pool.
Connor Higgins followed Hingst, and proceeded to allow a single to Nick Rodriguez before throwing away Kyle Isbel’s sacrifice bunt attempt. Pool and Rodriguez came around to score on the error and Isbel advanced to third.
Head coach Tracy Smith then intentionally walked the bases loaded and left Higgins (2-2) in to face Justin Jones, who singled through the right side and giving UNLV the walk-off victory.
The pitching staffs for both teams struggled all night long, as no one other than UNLV starter Paul Richy (four innings) lasted more than two frames.
On the offensive side for Arizona State, Gage Canning and Hunter Bishop each went 3-5 with two RBI each, combined with two-hit nights from Carter Aldrete and Jeremy McCuin.
Canning, coming off a Pac-12 Player of the Week selection, raised his season average to .321 and brought his RBI total to 18.
The Sun Devils will try and get back on the winning track this weekend when they return home for their final non-conference weekend series of the season hosting Cal State Bakersfield. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Bobby Kraus is a baseball beat reporter for the Walter Cronkite Sports Network. You can follow him on Twitter @bobbykraus22