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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rivalry blowout

    Kelly King/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA Baseball vs ASU
    Kelly King/ Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Baseball vs ASU

    The first time Arizona starter Bryce Bandilla faced the No. 3 Arizona State lineup, he failed to record a single out.

    Wednesday afternoon, it took the freshman four pitches to sit down his first Sun Devil hitter and five more to get his first one to go down on strikes looking.

    But the magic did not last long.

    After an impressive three innings of shutout ball, ASU’s offense came to life and unloaded a plethora of offense through the remainder of the game en route to a 20-3 blowout loss for the Wildcats (32-9, 5-13 Pacific 10 Conference).

    “”A decent ball game got away from us,”” UA head coach Andy Lopez said. “”We had opportunities early to really make this a good ball game but we just couldn’t take advantage.””

    Through three innings Bandilla appeared to be on the road to erasing the memory of his March 22 outing, a game in which he issued a pair of walks and gave up three earned runs in just four batters.

    The lefty allowed just one hit through the first three frames while picking up three strikeouts.

    But then the freshman’s accuracy wavered and ASU (32-9, 15-3) took advantage.

    After a pair of walks and a single to open the fourth frame, ASU first baseman Raoul Torrez lifted a pitch from Bandilla high over the left-field fence emptying the bases and robbing the Wildcats and their freshman pitcher of all momentum.

    “”I though Bandilla pitched OK,”” Lopez said. “”He pitched pretty well through those first three innings but (ASU) got that big hit in the fourth that really got them going.””

    While the Arizona bullpen managed to hold the Sun Devils to just three runs over the next four innings, the ASU offense teed off on right-hander Jason Stoffel – charging the pre-season All-American with five earned runs on a hit and three walks.

    The outing was the worst for Stoffel this year as the junior failed to record an out after facing five ASU hitters. His ERA rose to 5.59 – one of the highest season totals of his career.

    “”That was definitely the most frustrated I’ve been with my performance all year,”” Stoffel said. “”I just didn’t have any command of anything today and that made it really difficult to throw strikes.””

    After Stoffel was pulled, reliever Matt Veltmann did no better, giving up five earned runs of his own while recording just one out.

    Before the inning came to a close the nation’s No. 3 team added 13 runs to their total on eight hits and four walks, putting the game far out of reach for the Wildcats.

    While ASU’s offense showed its potency, Arizona’s bats were unusually quiet throughout the afternoon. After striking first in the second inning off an RBI-double by second baseman Kyle Stiner that scored left fielder Bobby Coyle, the Wildcats’ hitters managed only two more runs in the fifth and none in the final four frames despite tallying 15 total hits. A lack of clutch hitting left Arizona without an answer to ASU’s late surge.

    Possibly the only positive for Arizona was that the loss only adds to its non-conference mark. But either way the loss meant the same thing to Lopez.

    “”Maybe tomorrow I’ll think (the loss coming in non-conference play) is a positive,”” Lopez said. “”But right now this one hurts. I’m still warm from this one.””

    ON DECK

    What: Califorina vs. Arizona

    When: Friday – Sunday

    Times: 7 p.m, 6 p.m., noon

    Where: Sancet Stadium

    Radio: 1290-AM

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