ASU baseball lacks consistency, loses to Washington

Sun Devils struggled on both sides of the ball in game one of this weekend's series against Washington.

ASU baseball couldn’t carry last weekend’s series win momentum into Friday’s series opener against Washington, falling 4-2.

Junior right-handed pitcher Seth Martinez has had several solid Friday starts this season, but didn’t get off to a good one against the Huskies.

Head coach Tracy Smith said Martinez should be allowed to have an off game, but the defense should be able to back him up.

“I don’t think he was particularly sharp, but I also think he pitched well enough that if we make the plays behind him, he pitched well enough to give us a chance to win and we did not do that tonight,” Smith said.

Martinez allowed four hits and two runs through his first two innings. Two errors, one in the fourth by sophomore Andrew Snow and one in the fifth by freshman Jeremy McCuin, didn’t help the junior pitcher as Washington went up 4-0 off a double in the fifth.

“If we take care of the ball defensively, you’re in a position to win that baseball game, kind of the story of the year,” Smith said.

Smith brought in sophomore left-hander Eli Lingos after Martinez allowed the fourth run.

Lingos was able to hold the Huskies, allowing only three hits and no runs, striking out a career-high seven batters through 4 1/3 innings pitched.

“I had my two-seam kind of dialed in and my off-speed working for me pretty well,” Lingos said. “Getting ahead of hitters was big and then going at them with the off-speed and finding it.”

Smith said he liked what he saw from the sophomore, but that he would like to see more consistency in Lingos’ outings.

“We get this one night and we don’t get through a first inning another night,” Smith said of Lingos. “It’s the consistency piece that has to develop so you know how to manage and how to use guys.”

At the plate, the Sun Devils took a couple steps back from their performance last weekend as they went up against Washington pitcher Noah Bremer.

Bremer struck out junior first baseman David Greer and junior shortstop Colby Woodmansee back-to-back in the bottom of the first, and stayed consistent through the rest of the game. Bremer allowed ASU only three hits through five innings.

Sophomore Andrew Shaps sparked the Sun Devil offense in the bottom of the sixth with a triple that brought Greer around from first. Then, junior catcher Brian Serven singled off a throwing error by Washington shortstop AJ Graffanino, bringing Shaps home and putting ASU within two.

After two walks with the bases loaded, junior designated hitter Sebastian Zawada stepped up to pinch-hit for freshman Gage Canning. Zawada couldn’t make anything of the at-bat though, grounding it right back to Washington pitcher Greg Minier.

While Smith continues to look on the positive side of the struggles the Sun Devils have been experiencing, he still expresses some frustration over the lack of living up to the expectations that come with being a member of this program.

“At the end of the day, good players need to start making good plays. If you’re a baseball player at Arizona State, there’s an expectation that goes with that,” Smith said. “Right now, we are nowhere near living up to that expectation.” 

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