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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils fall short in season finale at Utah

The Sun Devils finish the season with a 23-32 record.

Photo taken by Nick Ramirez

The Sun Devils visited Utah with hopes of closing what’s turned out to be a tumultuous season on the right foot.

Following its final weekend of play, ASU concludes the year with a 23-32 overall record, including a 8-22 mark in Pac-12 play. Below is our game-by-game recap of the series.

Game One

In what was the battle of the aces, Eder Erives (1-5, 3.62 ERA) and Jayson Rose (8-3, 3.35), two early-inning runs from the Utes captured them a 2-0 series-opener win.

An unearned run touched home plate in the first inning of the game.

Shortstop Andrew Snow committed an error the first play of the game to put DaShawn Keirsey aboard on second base for the Utes. Keirsey scrambled to third on a fielder’s choice and then was knocked in to score on a sacrifice fly from Dallas Carroll.

In the second inning, another unfortunate event occurred in the very first batter for the Sun Devils. Zack Moeller slammed a solo home run to left field that put Utah ahead 2-0.

The Utes had no need to do any further damage, as just two hitters in Arizona State’s lineup achieved hits and none scored runs.

Lyle Lin (2-for-4) and Hunter Bishop (1-for-4), each had doubles and combined to be three of the six runners ASU left stranded on base.

Game Two

After a series-opening loss where Arizona State gave up two errors with one unearned run, two unearned runs scored during game two in a four-error Sun Devil performance. Utah would take the series win, 7-4.

Unlike game one though, Arizona State scored first.

With the bases loaded in the first inning, Taylor Lane launched a double to right field that scored Zach Cerbo, Hunter Bishop and Lyle Lin.

For the next four innings, the Sun Devils held a 3-0 under what was a shutout performance from left-hander Eli Lingos, but the fifth inning was where everything unraveled.

Ten Utah batters came to the plate as five runs scored on five hits and one error. Lingos saw his day come to an end as he gave up four earned runs and left-hander Connor Higgins relieved him.

Utah then added two more runs against Higgins after an RBI single in the sixth inning.

The Sun Devils would stay quite until the top of the ninth inning on a bases-loaded wild pitch that scored Bishop. Down 7-4 with one out and runners on second and third, Nick Cheema flew out to center and Myles Denson struck out swinging ending the game.

Game Three

The Sun Devils wouldn’t be able to hang for the result on Sunday, dropping the contest in the bottom of the ninth, 11-10.

ASU took an early lead after Hunter Bishop crushed a two-run homer to center in the first inning. Freshman catcher Nick Cheema drilled a solo blast—the first of his career—in the second frame to give the Maroon & Gold a 3-0 advantage.

During the third inning, the Sun Devils added four more runs to increase their lead to 7-0. However, starter Ryan Hingst surrendered seven runs to the Utes in the bottom half of the inning, including a grand slam by Zack Moeller, to even the score heading into the fifth.

Utah took its first lead of the game in the seventh frame, when Ellis Kelly scored Hunter Simmons on an RBI single, and Zack Moeller managed to also come around to score, giving the hosts a 9-8 advantage.

The Sun Devils responded when Andrew Snow and Myles Denson each knocked RBI singles to reclaim the lead for ASU at 10-9 in the top of the eighth.

Down to their final two outs, the Utes engineered a last-minute rally in the bottom of the ninth. Ellis Kelly hit a one-run double into right off of Reagan Todd to tie the game, before Kyle Hoffman connected on a pinch-hit RBI single to elevate Utah to a walk-off victory.