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ASU Baseball: Pitching carries Sun Devils to extras, run support wanes in 3-2 loss to UC Irvine

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Back home for the weekend

By Zach BonDurant, House of Sparky

As the heartbreak hangover lingered after the chaos in Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, the hair of the dog set in equally as brutally in the form of an extra innings ASU baseball loss to UC Irvine Wednesday night.

The Anteaters (8-5) completed the two-game sweep over the Sun Devils (5-9) in southern California 3-2 in a quick-and-efficient extra-inning battle.

Starting pitching continues to be the highlight of this year’s squad. On Wednesday, it was the Pinnacle product Jacob Walker shoving deep into the game. Walker’s 6.1 innings pitched nearly doubled his previous season-high of three and change in his debut against Dixie State.

What was different about Wednesday’s matchup is that the ASU bullpen held its ground fairly decently compared to some of the meltdowns of the early 2022 campaign.

Walker allowed just two runs in his six-plus innings, and the duo of Chase Webster, and Brock Peery managed scoreless frames in relief, carrying the Sun Devils into extra innings.

It would be a shame to not mention Will Rogers’s defensive putout from left field on a single in the ninth inning, eliminating the potential winning-run at the plate to force extras.

Offensively, the ASU freshmen capitalized on a few scoring chances, with Jacob Tobias driving in a run via sac fly, and Tobias scoring on an error off the bat off Alex Champagne. However, that would be all for the Sun Devil bats.

Closer Will Levine threw two scoreless frames in extras, including getting out of a jam, before allowing the walk-off RBI single in the ninth.

In the end, the ASU bullpen combined for 5.1 innings of one-run relief, and five innings of scoreless work. It is safe to say on Wednesday, it was the offense that came up short.

ASU returns home to Phoenix Municipal Stadium for a four-game series against San Francisco this weekend, including a double-header on Saturday.