PHOENIX – The Arizona State Sun Devils (23-27, 8-17 Pac-12) fell to the No. 18 Arizona Wildcats (34-17, 13-12 Pac-12) in game one of the three game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Thursday night by a score of 6-5.
Pitcher Eder Erives opened up the game red-hot with three hitless innings. Defensive struggles were issues for the Sun Devils, two fly balls were missed in the fourth inning and two errors were made by the Devils in total.
Erives pitched six innings and recorded two strikeouts in the loss. However, struggles in the outfield did not help Erives.
“I thought Eder did a really good job of pitching out of the jam and minimizing the damage in spite of what was going on behind him,” said skip Tracy Smith.
Arizona’s ace JC Cloney came into the game with a 7-1 record and a 2.64 earned run average, but the impressive stats of Cloney did not stop the Sun Devils’ offense.
The Sun Devils’ offense was awake tonight with Hunter Bishop, Zach Cerbo and Carter Aldrete all having multi-hit games.
Zach Cerbo had a huge night with two hits, three runs and a homerun. Gage Canning added a homerun as well.
Freshman Carter Aldrete’s three-hit night helped the Devils win the hitting battle against Arizona.
“He’s a ballplayer,” said Smith of Aldrete. “He’s certainly got room for improvement, but not an unsuccessful campaign by any stretch of the imagination with regard to our record.”
The Devils are battling to get back to the .500 mark, while the Wildcats are projected to get to a two-seed in regionals and a hopeful trip back to the College World Series.
The Devils are not playing for the post season but that is not stopping them from finishing up the season at a high level of intensity.
“Our guys are going to continue to play hard the rest of the way,” said Smith. “Even though we’re mathematically out. And I think that says something a little bit about some of that leadership to make sure those guys are doing that in that locker room.
“And I think Zach Cerbo is not giving up, Eder Erives is not giving up and that is something those young guys can learn from that,”
Junior pitcher Eli Lingos takes the mound in game two of the three-game series on Friday night at 7 p.m. MST at Phoenix Muni.