Mistakes and missed chances lead to ASU baseball's 3-2 loss to Hawai'i

Sun Devils struggle with runners in scoring position and commit two errors

ASU baseball "gave away" Friday night's game against Hawai'i 3-2, in head coach Tracy Smith's terms. 

"When you're struggling scoring runs, you can't play the way that we did defensively," Smith said. "If we take care of the baseball today, we still win that game, albeit 2-1."

With the game tied in the ninth, Hawai'i manufactured the game-winning run from an error, a bunt, a single and a sacrifice fly. 

On the error, redshirt freshman first baseman Nate Baez, new to the position, looked like he could have taken a grounder to the bag. But, at the last moment, he flipped the ball to redshirt freshman pitcher Graham Osman, who missed the base while covering. The error was charged to Osman.

On the ensuing bunt, freshman third baseman Hunter Haas, appeared to have a play on the lead runner at second base, but he threw to first instead. 

Both mishaps were a result of a lack of communication, Smith pointed out. 

Hawai'i tied the game in the seventh inning after redshirt junior Drew Swift misplayed what could have been an inning-ending double-play ball. Instead, with runners on the corners and two outs, Hawai'i scored on a wild pitch thrown by Osman. 

"We gave them their second run and we certainly gave them their third run," Smith said.

The other key difference-maker was the offense failing to produce the timely hit, especially early on. 

The Sun Devils stranded a runner on third base in each of the first two innings. With runners in scoring position, ASU finished 1-for-9 on Friday night. 

Smith said  his team "lacked maturity" by missing signs and being too aggressive. 

"We've been doing a good job with scouting reports and doing stuff to put ourselves in good positions to hit," Swift said. "Hits will come."

What worked for ASU was the pitching. 

Starting pitcher redshirt freshman Cooper Benson lasted just one inning before he was replaced by redshirt freshman Christian Bodlovich. Smith did not give an update on Benson's status, but said he wanted to be "cautious". 

Bodlovich quickly got himself ready and threw four innings of one-run ball. 

"Just knowing that I have to come in and do my job and that's to throw strikes, let the defense work, attack hitters, not trying to fiddle outside the zone," Bodlovich said. 

Osman relieved him and was a couple of seventh inning mishaps away from putting together 3.1 shutout innings of his own. 

With the starter going down so early and a doubleheader with Hawai'i on Saturday, Bodlovich and Osman's performances were crucial for ASU to keep pitchers fresh. 

"I'm not going to fault the pitching piece of it," Smith said. "I'd say we pitched well enough again to win, but we made a couple of mistakes and those couple mistakes in a tight ballgame could be the difference between winning and losing."

Game 1 of the doubleheader starts at 2:05 MST. 

Reach the reporter at alexjweiner@gmail.com and follow @alexjweiner on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.  

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.



This website uses cookies to make your expierence better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.