Tennessee gets revenge on ASU baseball, ties series

Senior pitcher Matt Dunbar rotates his body as he fires a pitch to a Bethune-Cookman batter on Feb. 16. The ASU pitching staff was able to secure a series win over Tennessee. (Photo by Murphy Bannerman)

Senior pitcher Matt Dunbar rotates his body as he fires a pitch to a Bethune-Cookman batter on Feb. 16. The ASU pitching staff was able to secure a series win over Tennessee. (Photo by Murphy Bannerman)

On Friday, the No. 22 ASU baseball team dominated every facet of its 4-0 victory over Tennessee.

Saturday was a different story for the Sun Devils (3-2) as they were outhit, outpitched and outfielded in an 11-2 loss to the Volunteers (2-4).

The Sun Devils started the game where they left off Friday night, opening the scoring in the top of the first on Tennessee starting freshman pitcher Aaron Quillen’s wild pitch.

The Sun Devils couldn’t keep the lead in the bottom of the first, allowing the Volunteers to tie the game on junior second baseman James McDonald’s error.

Freshman designated hitter Tony DiMartino gave the Sun Devils the lead back in the top of the second after drilling a long homerun to right-center field, the first of his career.

Starting pitcher sophomore Adam McCreery again couldn’t hold the lead in the second for the Sun Devils as Volunteer freshman pitcher Jeff Moberg singled home the tying run.

The Volunteers added two more in the third, runs that ultimately proved to be the game-winners.

Tennessee took the 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth and put the game out of reach, tacking on five runs and chasing McCreery from the game.

It wasn’t all McCreery’s doing, though, as the Sun Devils made defensive lapses behind him.

McCreery gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings, but only four of those were earned.

The Sun Devils made four errors on the day after Friday’s errorless performance, their first since May 13, 2012 at Gonzaga.

A bright spot on the day for the Sun Devils was freshman reliever Eric Melbostad, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first career performance.

The Sun Devils return to action Sunday as they try to take the series. They will send freshman Ryan Kellogg out to the mound for his career start.

 

Reach the reporter at dsshapi1@asu.edu