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ASU Baseball: Pitching and defense suffer in game two loss

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Sun Devil bullpen fails to keep the game close in a blowout by UNC Wilmington

Carter Aldrete walks back to the dugout at the end of the inning.
Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

Senior Eli Lingos had total control of the UNC Wilmington Seahawks (10-4) for five straight innings. After a wild pitch in the sixth, everything fell apart for ASU (8-7).

It took six pitchers Saturday for the Sun Devils and it resulted in nine runs scored as ASU was shut out by UNC Wilmington.

Though Lingos was tagged with the loss, he threw quality stuff. His final line was 10 hits, three runs, three walks and seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Trailing by three runs, head coach Tracy Smith turned to senior Connor Higgins in the eighth with the hope of maintaining the deficit; he could not.

One by one, pitcher after pitcher took their turn on the mound trying to simply get a Seahawks’ hitter out. Higgins faced two batters and got no outs, freshman Spencer Van Scoyoc faced three hitters and got the first out, senior Ryan Hingst faced three batters and got the second and Grant Schneider got the final out facing one hitter. By then, four runs had scored for the Seahawks.

“Whatever the situation is,” Smith said, “I want the person out there that to me is being the most aggressive with the best mindset.”

This comes following a game one victory where the Sun Devil offense plated nine runs. Tonight, the Sun Devils stranded nine runners.

While Higgins and Van Scoyoc have been seen as potential shut down pitchers, there appears to be limited variety in pitchers available for holds; something that Smith said cannot continue.

“We’re not giving up on them but at some point (tonight) is going to happen,” Smith said. “We can’t keep asking the same five guys to (pitch). We’re probably not deep enough to run out our guys that hold the lead for us.

“We have got to have someone that can give us a hold that is maybe not your first option when you have a lead.”

On a brighter note, both center fielder Gage Canning and catcher Lyle Lin extended their hitting streaks to 15 — which, for those counting, is indeed every game ASU has played this season.

Right fielder Hunter Bishop also sat out tonight after injuring his hamstring running to third base last night, Smith said that he is day-to-day.

The rubber match between these two teams is tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Probable starters for tomorrow are right-hander Landen Roupp of UNC Wilmington and right-hander Boyd Vander Kooi of ASU.