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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Sun Devils walk all over Wildcats baseball

Carl+Miller+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ARight+Fielder+Scott+Kingery+watches+an+ASU+home+run+soar+over+the+fence+during+during+Tuesday+nights+7-5+loss+to+Arizona+State.+
Carl Miller
Carl Miller / Arizona Daily Wildcat Right Fielder Scott Kingery watches an ASU home run soar over the fence during during Tuesday night’s 7-5 loss to Arizona State.

The first time the two rivals met at Hi Corbett Field, it was a classic — albeit a sloppy one.

No. 16 ASU’s 7-5 win Tuesday night against Arizona was a worthy second act, and equally as ugly.

“We really did not deserve to win this game,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “We had [eight] walks, five hit batsmen. You can’t defend a hit batsman, you can’t defend a walk.

“It would have been just short of a miracle to see us come out on top tonight.”

The game featured five ties or lead changes and the teams entered the eighth inning tied at five apiece. Unlike the thriller two weeks earlier, this game ended with more of a whimper.

With one man on and two out, relief pitcher Tyler Hale (L, 0-1) intentionally walked ASU’s James McDonald before being pulled for the Wildcats’ reliable closer Mathew Troupe.

Yet Troupe was anything but reliable. After allowing a leadoff single, which shortstop Kevin Newman kept from being an extra base hit with a diving stop, Troupe couldn’t even find the strike zone.

With the bases loaded, Troupe threw eight straight balls, including a wild pitch, to put the Sun Devils (29-12-1) up two.

Redshirt junior Augey Bill cleaned up the mess, popping up ASU’s Drew Stankiewicz, but the damage was already done.

Arizona (29-15) nearly got one back in the bottom of the eighth, with designated hitter Cody Ramer waiting at third. Junior Johnny Field hit a hard ground ball to the left side, but Stankiewicz snagged the ball at shortstop and then beat Field to first.

Closer Ryan Burr sat the Wildcats down in order to close out the ninth inning. Second baseman Trent Gilbert (4-for-5) and third baseman Brandon Dixon (0-for-4) struck out swinging. Catcher Riley Moore was Arizona’s last hope, but McDonald made an athletic throw to get Moore at first and shut the door on the four hour marathon.

“I think it’s just an off night for us,” said Moore, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI. “I think they had the momentum on their side tonight, whether it was getting double plays or big hits. Sometimes that’s how the game works.”

Arizona put three runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning, but a majority of the production came from the inaccuracy of ASU’s starter Zak Miller. While Arizona scored five runs and had eight hits, only three players — Gilbert, Moore and Newman — had hits in the game.

Talley declawed

Starting pitcher Tyger Talley entered Tuesday’s game on the prowl, facing the minimum three batters in the first inning.

His night ended just three innings later, as Talley’s wild control and a third inning blast by ASU’s Jake Peevyhouse tamed the freshman pitcher.

Talley (4-0, 2.98 ERA) has been one of the Wildcats’ most consistent arms out of the pen this season, allowing six earned runs through 27.2 innings pitched before Tuesday’s game. He’s also been a reliable spot starter when Lopez has called on the young arm, with Arizona winning both of his starts this season.

Against ASU, though, something was off.

Talley lasted 3.0 innings, getting replaced by reliever Cody Moffett after he walked Peevyhouse to lead off the fourth inning.

Still, Lopez said Talley was “average at best” and only Bill showed anything out on the mound Thursday.

What really troubled Talley, just like Troupe and Moffett, was a lack of command. Talley hit two batters, including one on the third inning with the bases loaded forcing in a run.

Moore said the freshmen tried to work in a change-up this game. The results weren’t perfect, but he left the game feeling optimistic.

“I like [the change-up], I like him with those pitches,” Moore said. “He showed some good parts, he showed some bad parts, but I think we’ll get it all fixed.”

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