Spencer Van Scoyoc's sloppy start leads to blowout loss for ASU baseball

The Sun Devils could not execute fundamental plays or get the offense going against the Saint Mary's Gaels

Sophomore starting pitcher Spencer Van Scoyoc struggled with his control for a second straight start, and ASU baseball dropped the series opener to Saint Mary’s 6-1, on a chilly Friday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Van Scoyoc had trouble locating the strike zone, walking four batters in only 2.1 innings on Friday. In the Sun Devils' (2-3) season-opening loss to Miami University on Feb. 17, the left-hander walked six batters in five innings.

Head coach Tracy Smith said Van Scoyoc struggled with the location on his breaking ball.

“He’s got good stuff,” Smith said. “It is just not being able to locate a secondary pitch consistently and I think you have to do that as a starter at this level, and in particular in this league.”

The Gaels only managed two hits against Van Scoyoc, but his inability to throw strikes haunted him all night. 

“This is a results oriented business,” Smith said. “Spencer is going to have to have a big role on this team for us to be good and maybe it is not on Friday night.”

Saint Mary’s started their scoring in the first. Senior center-fielder Joey Fiske led off the game with a double into the left-center field gap. A sacrifice bunt and a walk by the Gaels' junior second baseman Edward Haus drove Fiske in with a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Gaels a 1-0 lead.

The Sun Devils' offense had a chance to respond in the bottom of the first. Leadoff man and junior center-fielder Gage Canning led off with a double, but the next three batters each got out and ASU failed to capitalize.

Control issues continued to trouble Van Scoyoc in the second. A one-out walk and a wild pitch helped the Gaels score their second run. 

After ASU failed to get on the scoreboard in the second, Van Scoyoc was chased from the game in the third. Two walks, an error by the pitcher on a throw to third base, another wild pitch, a stolen base and a hit batter allowed the Gaels to score two more runs, giving them a 4-0 advantage.

Van Scoyoc only threw 32 of his 63 pitches for strikes and his ERA rose to 4.91 for the season. 

“When you’re (pitching) on a Friday night, at this level of baseball, you can’t construct innings for other teams,” Smith said. “The margin for error, practically with a young team, is really small."

ASU junior reliever Fitz Stadler said he expects Van Scoyoc to improve.

“When he gets in there and he attacks, he is by far one of the best pitchers on this team,” Stadler said.

In contrast, Gaels junior starter Nick Frank struck out nine batters and allowed one run in 7.1 innings.

ASU got on the board in the third thanks to an RBI double by Canning that scored freshman designated hitter Gage Workman.

Saint Mary’s broke the game open in the fourth against Stadler. Fiske was hit by a pitch leading off the frame. He advanced to second on a passed ball. The next batter, senior left-fielder Brett Rasso hit a ground ball to third. Stadler chose to go to third but could not beat Fiske to the bag, putting runners at first and third with nobody out. Haus took advantage, breaking the game open with a two-RBI single, giving the Gaels a 6-1 edge. 

This is a lead the Gaels would not surrender, and the Sun Devils dropped the series opener. 

“I think once they settle in and understand the college game, this group is going to take off,” Smith said. “But what we can’t do is what we did tonight, when you don’t even give yourself a chance by giving too many free bases and not taking outs when the team’s laying down a bunt.” 


The Sun Devils and Gaels will meet again in the middle game of the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. MST.  

 Reach the reporter at jpjacqu1@asu.edu or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

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