WCSN’s Evan Webeck and Ryan Hill break down the tough road loss.
No. 9 Arizona State lost a heartbreaker in Tucson to rival University of Arizona 10-9 on Tuesday night.
The Wildcat faithful stayed in their seats for most of the four hour game, screaming and chanting and turning the calm night at Hi Corbett Field into a zoo.
After a solid outing from starter Zak Miller, who gave up three hits and two runs while walking two and striking out two in five innings of work, the Sun Devil bullpen failed to convert an 8-2 lead after five innings into a win.
Arizona fans were initially quiet when the 6-foot-9 sophomore Adam McCreery took the mound in the sixth, and whispers about his stature fluttered through the stands. McCreery did not record an out while walking two batters and giving up a hit. He was charged with three runs after his departure and he could not find the strike zone in the three batters he faced.
Mark Lambson relieved him and gave up three more runs in one and one-third innings of work, allowing one hit and giving up two walks.
At least there was some hope out of the bullpen for Sun Devil fans as Matt Dunbar came in and pitched well for two-thirds of an inning, giving up only one hit, one walk and keeping the Wildcats off the board.
Darin Gillies came in in the eighth inning and allowed two runs to score, sealing the narrow UofA victory.
Hits were not too hard to come by as ASU has ten on the night, but the defense’s five errors proved costly. Michael Benjamin, James McDonald, and Drew Stankiewicz all committed one error and freshman catcher RJ Ybarra committed two. In the eighth inning, he overthrew a ball to third trying to catch the runner stealing.
The ball sailed into left field past Benjamin and allowed UofA to take the lead for the first time since the first inning.
ASU’s offense was promising, and should stay hot going into the weekend. Benjamin and Ybarra both had two hits. Dalton DiNatale was the only Sun Devil without a hit, but he walked four times and was hit by a pitch once. Trever Allen and Nate Causey both had two RBIs. Benjamin, McDonald, Stankiewicz, and Johnny Sewald all contributed an RBI to the stat sheet.
ASU hosts Valparaiso this weekend for a three game series, and if they keep their offense hot and eliminate the errors, they should dominate the 14-21 Crusaders, who are just 4-12 on the road.