ASU baseball planned on going Duck hunting Friday, but ended up shooting itself in the foot.
The Sun Devils (24-21, 12-10 Pac-12) committed three errors and couldn't take advantage of a strong start from sophomore Brett Lilek, losing 5-3 to No. 9 Oregon Friday night to pick up their fifth-consecutive loss.
"They played huge," Esmay said. "Make three errors and it's not good. Not going to win a lot of games doing that."
Lilek and the Sun Devils fell behind in the second inning following a one-out RBI single from Ducks sophomore designated hitter Josh Graham.
The inning was extended two batters later when junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz couldn't handle a ground ball, allowing another run to score for the Ducks (36-14, 14-8).
The Sun Devils responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI single from freshman catcher Brian Serven, but bad defense failed the Sun Devils once again.
Lilek allowed a two-out, two-run triple to sophomore third baseman Mitchell Tolman, who scored on a botched Stankiewicz relay hopped into the Sun Devil dugout, his second error of the night and team-leading 14th of the season.
"Make one bad pitch and the kid hits it and now we're trying to make a play at third base and it gets away," Esmay said.
Lilek finished with a career-high nine strikeouts in seven innings and gave up just five hits, but picked up his fourth loss of the season, which Esmay felt was undeserved.
"He (Lilek) pitched well," Esmay said. "He commanded the zone and I thought he pitched really well tonight. Pitched well enough to win."
The Sun Devils tried to close the 5-2 deficit with runs in the sixth and eighth innings, but fell short, leaving 10 runners on base and striking out eight times.
The Sun Devils and Ducks return to action tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.