In 2013, Arizona State went 2-0 against the New Mexico, including a 4-3 victory in the opening game of the Fullerton regional last May. Tuesday night, the Lobos found some revenge as they topped the Sun Devils 7-1 at Packard Stadium.
New Mexico used a five-run fifth inning and a steady bullpen to defeat the Sun Devils in both teams' first midweek action of the season. New Mexico pitched four players tonight, none lasting more than three innings. The Lobo pitchers were able to keep Sun Devil hitters guessing all night.
"We didn't string good at-bats tonight," said head coach Tim Esmay. "We didn't make adjustments, they came in and pitched us a little differently then we were pitched this weekend. They were commanding a lot of offspeed early in the count and we weren't as patient as we were over the weekend."
New Mexico struck first in the top of the third inning when a Chase Harris groundout platted Aaron Siple for the game's first run. The Lobos added another run in the fourth inning on a Jered Meek RBI single.
The Sun Devils pulled within one in the bottom of the fourth when David Graybill smashed a pitch from Taylor Duree over the lelf-centerfield fence for a solo home run.
However, in the fifth New Mexico put together five runs on seven hits, all singles, to blow the game open. Sun Devil starter Darin Gillies left the game with one out in the fifth and was relieved by Mark Lambson, who surrendered three hits and one earned run in a third of an inning.
Gillies finished with a line of 4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, although he only surrendered three extra base hits. The Sun Devil offense did not help their pitcher out much, as they collected just six hits, leaving nine runners on base and committing three errors in the field.
"It was a different offensive team tonight," said Esmay. "Today I thought we were a little bit too aggressive early in the count and swinging at pitches that were questionable and it got us behind in the count."
One bright spot for Arizona State tonight was redshirt-freshman reliever Nick Diamond, who threw three shutout innings in relief. The left-handed Diamond struck out three batters and only allowed one Lobo to reach base.
"My team picked me up today," said Diamond, who took the loss in the season opener against Baylor. "I trusted my stuff today, I had a lot of trust in my teammates today. I know they always have my back."
The Sun Devils will travel to Southern California to play Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Wright State this weekend in their first road action of the year. Diamond says that the team has to rebound quickly from this setback.
"We just have to let it go, forget about it and move on," said Diamond. "We have to focus on the next day."