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Sun Devil baseball splits two-game series with Utah State at home

ASU tallied eight hits total in the two-game, midweek series against Utah Valley


ASU redshirt freshman pitcher Brandon Compton (27) celebrates with sophomore outfielder Isaiah Jackson (24) after scoring a run against Santa Clara at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday, Feb.16, 2024 in Phoenix. ASU won 11-6.

After winning the three-game series against Arizona in Tucson, Arizona State made their way back to Phoenix Municipal Stadium for a mini-series against Utah Valley. But, facing difficulty in the batter's box, the Sun Devils took a series split against Utah Valley.

Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Meyer started game one on Tuesday. Only lasting 3.2 innings, he ended his night with four runs allowed and four strikeouts before senior right-handed pitcher Hunter Omlid took charge. 

Omlid pitched the remainder of the game with his speed and control in check. He finished with 11 strikeouts and zero runs added to the board. His first seven outs were all strikeouts, putting the first six away swinging. His 11 punchouts were the most of any ASU pitcher since 2021.

As for the offense, ASU was down 2-0 in the third before redshirt senior outfielder Harris Williams brought in the first run for ASU with a double off the wall to make it 2-1.

Going down again by two in the fourth, an RBI by sophomore outfielder Isaiah Jackson and a walk with the bases loaded by Williams would bring ASU back within one 4-3. 

Redshirt freshman left-handed pitcher Brandon Compton would later call the game with the final run scored on a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Sun Devils the 5-4 game one victory over the Wolverines.

Even with the win, the offensive performance was below team expectations. With only four hits on the night, the team averaged .148 at the plate.

In game two, the Sun Devils continued to struggle at bat, resulting in a 7-5 loss against the Wolverines.

Matching their hits during game one, the Sun Devils only amounted to four on the night after getting no-hit through six innings.

Down 5-0 in the seventh, four of which were unearned runs because of errors, ASU woke up the bats with a double off of junior infielder Jacob Tobias. ASU scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning, making it a one-run game at a 5-4 Wolverines advantage.

Unfortunately, the comeback would come up short. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Ben Jacobs would give up two solo homers in the top of the ninth. Even with Jackson's home run and first extra-base hit since the Ohio series, ASU lost by two runs.

With a loss of confidence and lack of focus in the batter's box, the Sun Devils will have to bounce back from their midweek underperformance before their weekend series against Washington State in Pullman, Washington.

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Shane Brennan and Caera Learmonth.

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