The Sun Devils were up 8-2 in the sixth inning, but they could not hold on against their cross-state rival. ASU eventually lost 10-9 due to a couple of costly late innings.
Arizona State starter Zak Miller did all he could tossing five innings of two run baseball, but the bullpen gave him no love in the desert. Adam McCreery and Mark Lambson both saw their first action in a little over a week and they combined for four outs, six runs, four walks and just one strikeout.
McCreery did not record a single out in the three batters he faced as he showed command issues once again.
The defense is as much to blame, however, as they committed five errors including an RJ Ybarra throwing error in the eighth inning that allowed Brandon Dixon to come around and score the first run of the inning to give the Wildcats some needed momentum.
Offense was not the issue on Tuesday night considering every Sun Devil in the lineup reached base. Trever Allen and Nate Causey led the charge with two runs batted in a piece and Michael Benjamin crossed home plate three times. Fifteenth ranked ASU has weapons offensively to compete with any team in the Pac-12, but the team needs to fix its bullpen issues soon.
It was Arizona State's sixth loss to the Wildcats in Tucson in the last six seasons but they will have a chance for redemption on April 30 and then in mid-May in Tempe. The team that wins three of the five contests will earn a point towards the Territorial Cup standings.