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Little goes right for ASU baseball in 14-2 loss at UA

The Sun Devils dropped their third of four games against the Wildcats this year


ASU now-redshirt sophomore Sean McLain (2) hits the baseball against the University of Hawai'i at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. ASU won 6-5.

Tuesday was a night to forget for ASU baseball. Two nights after avoiding a sweep with a win over UA at home, the Sun Devils were blown out 14-2 against the Wildcats in Tucson. It was ASU's first double-digit loss since May 31, 2019, against Southern Mississippi.

"We're not going to make too much of this one just because we've been pitching it fairly well, throwing strikes and playing defense and we didn't do that tonight," head coach Tracy Smith said. "You've got to have a short memory with this one."

The Sun Devils were also without redshirt junior shortstop Drew Swift and redshirt senior catcher Sam Ferri due to non-COVID-19 sicknesses.

UA had a stretch in which it scored multiple runs in five consecutive innings. 

ASU's pitchers gave UA a lot of base runners throughout the game with 10 walks and three hit batsmen. A couple of defensive errors did not help. Unlike on Saturday, the Wildcats took full advantage when runners reached base, finishing the game 11-for-25 in such situations. 

Freshman pitcher Joe Hauser got the start and threw two scoreless frames before he hit the lead-off batter in the third. ASU elected to go to the bullpen with redshirt freshman pitcher Christian Bodlovich, who surrendered the inherited runner along with another in the third. 

It was a rough day for several Sun Devil pitchers. Freshman pitcher Jared Glenn allowed five hits and three runs in 1.2 innings and redshirt junior pitcher Brady Corrigan let in four runs without getting an out. 

"The disappointment was we didn't throw strikes," Smith said. "If they're knocking balls all over the park, you can almost live with that a little bit better. But I think when we walk 10 guys, hit three or something ridiculous, that was a little bit of a disappointment because that shouldn't matter whether it's midweek or not these guys have been pitching, but it's just an off night." 

Smith said his message to the staff postgame was to not let one poor outing lower their confidence, because that would spell trouble going forward. 

On offense, ASU struck first with a redshirt junior left fielder Hunter Jump sacrifice fly in the first and a freshman first baseman Jack Moss opposite-field solo blast in the second, his first college home run. But, after leading 2-0 after the second inning, the Sun Devils were shut out over the final seven frames, putting together just three hits. They walked once and accounted for one hit by pitch. 

Two of ASU's five total hits were from redshirt freshman second baseman Sean McLain, who extended his hitting streak to 22 games. Only three Sun Devils—Riccio Torrez, Jeremy West and Andre Ethier—have put together longer streaks since 1998. 

The loss drops ASU to 16-8 and 1-3 on the road. Tuesday was ASU's third loss by more than two runs this season.  

Smith said that he does not have any issues with his team's effort, that overcoming three season-ending injuries to starting pitchers is an immensely demanding task. 

"Our guys are battling and we've got their back," Smith said. "Outside of this game, we've been pretty darn competitive all year. And we're winning, so we still feel good, we can still do this. It's not going to be easy. But you can't negate the fact that everything's been moved back and not just one spot but three."

ASU will look to rebound against 10-14 Washington this upcoming weekend. The three-game series in Seattle with start on Friday night. 

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