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ASU Baseball: Devils drop first series of the year, lose to Trojans for fifth year in a row

Three straight losses

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

For the second time of the weekend, Arizona State dropped the contest to the USC Trojans (12-17, 4-6) and have lost three consecutive games. The Trojans have now won five consecutive series against ASU (25-4, 8-3).

It marks the first time all season the Devils have even lost consecutive contests, let along holding a losing streak. Boyd Vander Kooi could not water down the USC offense and the Trojans capitalized on multi-run innings in both the third and the sixth innings.

Three home runs also helped propel a Southern California team that ranked ninth in the Pac-12 conference with just 12 home runs coming into the day. A pair from center fielder Matthew Acosta and a two-run mammoth shot from catcher CJ Stubbs were responsible for four of the seven runs.

“Other teams give scholarships too, they’re trying to win,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “They’ve got some talent over there, to their credit they’ve taken it to us, it’s not like they haven’t hit the baseball, they struck the baseball.”

Arizona State countered with two solo blasts of their own from Spencer Torkelson and Alika Williams, but it would not be enough as the Devils missed several opportunities to capitalize with runners on base, stranding nine runners on the afternoon.

“I thought today we played better baseball than the last day or couple days, we just didn’t get the big hit,” Smith said. “That’s kind of how up to this point, the series has gone.”

Vander Kooi lasted just over five innings while allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits while walking two and punching out one. Sam Romero and Chaz Montoya combined to toss the final three frames of the game, with Romero allowing his first long ball of the season.

The Devils and Trojans will be back in action at Dedeaux Field Sunday afternoon as ASU looks to avoid their first sweep of the year. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. with RJ Dabovich expected to take the mound.