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After visiting Hahn, baseball falls to CSF

For the first time since his terrifying neck injury, ASU freshman outfielder Cory Hahn was back at the ballpark cheering on his teammates.

Hahn, who returned home to Southern California after undergoing surgery, was in attendance Tuesday to watch the ASU baseball team take on Cal State Fullerton.

The squad left Phoenix by bus Monday and stopped to visit Hahn before driving to its hotel that night.

“We spent a good two and 1/2 to three hours with him,” ASU coach Tim Esmay told The Fan AM 1060. “It was great to just be normal and tell jokes. He had to get caught up with some freshman stuff we do when we’re on the road.”

Hahn made it to Fullerton in time to watch his teammates gather together in the outfield prior to the first pitch.

“We’re missing him tremendously,” Esmay said. “It was needed by our guys; we hadn’t seen him in a couple weeks. What a special personality, and what a special young man. He is just an inspiration to all of us.”

The No. 8 Sun Devils (15-5) wanted nothing more than to win one for Hahn, but unfortunately, the No. 18 Titans (12-7) got the better of ASU and took the first game of the two-game series, 7-3.

Coupled with Sunday’s loss to Oral Roberts, ASU has now lost two in a row.

The only time the Sun Devils lost two in a row last season was at the College World Series in Omaha.

“We didn’t do a good job tonight,” Esmay said. “We allowed them to play their game. We got beat in all assets of the game tonight. We didn’t really handle anything.”

Tuesday wasn’t sophomore pitcher Jake Barrett’s night.

Barrett allowed the first three Titan batters to reach base, one of which was on an error by ASU junior third baseman Riccio Torrez.

CSF cashed in for two runs in the first to take the early advantage.

The Sun Devils responded in the second with a run of their own thanks to a double by sophomore designated hitter Joey DeMichele, followed by back-to-back sacrifices to score him.

The Titans would get the run back in their half of the second with an RBI single off the bat of sophomore outfielder Austin Kingsolver.

Two innings later, after dominating much of the game, CSF finally pulled away.

Barrett (1-2) hit two batters and gave up a double and single. He was replaced by relief pitcher Mark Lambson.

The freshman allowed two more runs to score before finally getting out of the inning.

Barrett ended up on the hook for seven runs, six of which were earned, from seven hits.

The Sun Devils tried to fight their way back into the game in the eighth.

ASU loaded the bases with one out, but the Sun Devils only managed to scrape across one run to cut its deficit to 7-2.

In the ninth inning, the Sun Devils made one last run at closing the Titan gap.

ASU worked across a run and loaded the bases with two outs to bring the tying run up to bat.

Junior infielder Zack MacPhee ended the rally with a pop fly to close the game and give CSF the victory.

“Being a good ball club, we know we’re never out of it,” Esmay said. “But we can’t wait to have that mindset so late in the game.”

CSF junior Jake Floethe recorded the win, pitching into the eighth and only giving up two earned runs.

Lambson pitched three and 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits.

The two teams will face off again Wednesday afternoon before the Sun Devils return home this weekend for a Territorial Cup tilt with UA.

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