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Strong ASU offense can't overcome pitching troubles in loss to UNLV

ASU baseball's pitching breaks down in the ninth, allowing six walks

BaseballGAMER Loss.jpg
ASU junior infielder Carter Aldrete (21) throws out a runner in ASU's 8-0 victory over Michigan State at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019.

No. 9 ASU baseball (26-5, 9-3 Pac-12) entered its midweek contest at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (20-15) with a 9-4 lead heading into the bottom ninth, but two pitching changes, a wild pitch and six walks later handed the Rebels a 10-9 win on Tuesday. 

Through 3.0 innings, freshman left-hander Erik Tolman was able to hold off the Rebels from scoring, allowing three hits and four walks while striking out two.

But four other Sun Devils' pitchers took a beating that included two freshmen, junior Chaz Montoya and senior Sam Romero, who combined for a total 12 walks, 10 runs on eleven hits for the Sun Devils. Freshman Marc Lidd struck out three while Romero took the loss.

The Sun Devils' 9-3 record in the Pac-12 puts them slightly ahead of Oregon State (23-7-1, 9-4-0 Pac-12) – their upcoming weekend opponent, who had tied for second before its loss to Oregon on Tuesday.

The Sun Devils' offense came alive early in the game, leading 5-1 in the fifth inning on sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson's ninth home run of the season. 

The sophomore went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while junior designated hitter Myles Denson connected with a double, triple, walk and RBI, ending his night 2-for-3. 

The Sun Devils' 5-1 lead heading into the seventh inning quickly became a one-run game after a single and RBI foul out allowed the Rebels to score two runs. They then took advantage scoring on a wild pitch. 

A key insurance run in the eighth inning from Sun Devils junior infielder Carter Aldrete's single would spread momentum for the rest of the team to bring in three runs.

However, the Rebels would finish the script in the ninth, coming back from a 9-5 deficit to win the game by one. 

The Sun Devils will host Oregon State in Phoenix on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. MST.

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