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ASU baseball: Four things we learned from Sun Devils’ Opening Day loss to Miami (Ohio)

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It’s still early, but not much has changed from last season.

Photo taken by Nick Ramirez

Arizona State fell to Miami (Ohio) in its season-opener Saturday afternoon, 4-2, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, as walks, costly errors and an inability to produce at the cleanup spot were clear factors as to why the Sun Devils fell.

Here’s a big picture look at what went down:

Van Scoyoc may not be a lock for Fridays

From the looks of his first start, Friday night starts may not be a regularity for sophomore left-hander Spencer Van Scoyoc. In five innings, he allowed three runs — just one earned, though — on four hits. But his lack of command cut his start short. Van Scoyoc walked at least one batter each inning, totaling six. He faced 24 batters. Through five innings, Miami’s junior right-hander Nick Ernst faced 17.

In 28 innings, Van Scoyoc committed 30 walks last season, which was second-most on the team. Junior left-handed pitcher Eli Lingos, the Sun Devils’ No. 2 starter, gave up 28 walks in a team-most 87 23 innings last season. It wouldn’t be surprising if he took over on Fridays moving forward.

Fielding woes won’t disappear

Two of Miami’s four runs came off errors. Sophomore Carter Aldrete, who made the move from second base to third, twice was credited with errors. His first came on a throw he bounced to first past the glove of junior Jeremy McCuin that preceded two unearned runs in Miami’s big fifth inning. The second came in the top of the ninth on a mishandled grounder. On the flip side, Miami committed just one error. With 70 errors last season, ASU had the second most in the Pac-12 behind Arizona (71).

Lineup’s heart producing, not finishing

ASU’s first five batters in its Opening Day lineup hit a combined 6-for-20, while the backend hit 2-for-13. Sophomore catcher Lyle Lin and junior right fielder Gage Canning each manifested 2-for-4 days, as the top three of ASU’s lineup, Canning, Bishop and Aldrete each earned hits. However, freshman designated hitter Spencer Torkelson couldn’t produce at the cleanup spot, going 0-for-4, as he left four of ASU’s five total runners left on base. On the other hand, freshman seventh-hitter and shortstop Drew Swift, hit 2-for-3, though he was caught stealing twice.

Left field remains wide-open

Though freshman Trevor Hauver got the starting nod, ASU skipper Tracy Smith mentioned the spot in left field is still anyone’s to take. Hauver went 0-for-4 on Friday afternoon, catching two fly outs. It’s unclear when or how many other Smith may play with in left, but sophomore Myles Denson, who played in 27 games last year, senior Taylor Lane, who started in 40 games last season, mostly at designated hitter, are clear candidates. Freshman Gage Workman, who was drafted in the 14th round by the Browers in 2017, may also see some time in left.

*Freshman Scott Mehan go the start in left field game two of Saturday’s doubleheader. He hit for a .392 average in three varsity seasons at Schottsdale Cactus Shadows High School.