Against last season’s College Baseball World Series runner up, in enemy territory, the Sun Devils (12-15, 2-8 Pac-12) fell to No. 8 Arizona, 11-2, on Tuesday evening under the lights of Hi Corbertt Field.
On 10 hits and 11 runs, the Wildcats piled runs on the Sun Devils who gave up their 28th run in the past 72 hours.
In Arizona State’s sixth midweek game of the season, the Sun Devils threw their fourth different non-weekend starter, Jake Godfrey. His performance went longer than any other midweek starter, lasting four innings, but stood ineffective as he allowed six runs (five earned), handing the Wildcats an early lead a 6-1 lead going into the fifth inning.
After Godfrey’s performance, two more former midweek starters — Zach Dixon and Ryan Hingst — both of whom allowed UA to build even further on its lead, entered the game.
In Arizona’s first at-bat against Dixon, with a runner on first, JJ Matijevic launched a two-run home run over the right-center wall, putting the Wildcats up 8-1.
One batter later, Dixon committed an error as ASU head coach Tracy Smith stripped him from the game, making Hingst his replacement.
Still in the fifth inning, five batters later, Hingst manged to give up a grand slam to Cal Stevenson, with all four runs being scored as unearned.
Reagan Todd and Garvin Alston finished the night for the Sun Devils, tossing two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth.
The Sun Devils’ two runs came in two wide-spread innings apart.
In the first inning, on a throwing error from Arizona’s Nicholas Quintana at third base, Tyler Williams hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Andrew Shaps. At that point, the Sun Devils had a 1-0 lead, which evaporated quickly.
Down 11-1, in the eighth inning, Jackson Willeford jacked a line-drive home run that hit the top of the right field wall, halting him at second base, until he realized it was indeed a solo home run.
For Willeford, who played his first two college baseball season’s as a Wildcat, the hit marked his first home run of the season.
In a contest featuring the two worst-fielding teams in the Pac-12, of all 13 combined runs scored, just seven were earned as Arizona allowed six errors while Arizona State gave up two.
The Sun Devils and Wildcats met for the first of five games this season. College baseball’s next Territorial Cup matchup will be another midweek matinee in Tucson, on May 9.
Conference play continues for the Sun Devils against seventh ranked in the Pac-12 California (12-14, 4-5) when Eli Lingos (3-2, 3.07) takes the mound on Friday at 4 p.m. on the road in Berkeley, Calif.