The wind was blowing out to centerfield for the first few innings of Tuesday night’s cross-town rivalry game between Grand Canyon (14-8) and Arizona State (9-13, 1-2 Pac-12). Just as the breeze stopped, it felt like the Sun Devil offense did too.
The 7-5 Sun Devil defeat marks their fourth loss in the last five games. ASU never lead the entire night as GCU jumped on them right from first pitch.
Adam Tulloch got the rare midweek start for ASU. The typical weekend starter had a rough outing this past weekend against Oregon State and the struggles continued for him in the first frame.
Tulloch did not record the first out of the game until the fifth batter of the game, Tayler Aguilar, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field. That scored the third run of the inning.
After Tulloch, the duo of Christian Bodlovich and Chase Webster threw four innings and allowing one run, but it enabled the ASU offense to climb back.
Ethan Long hit his first of two bombs in the bottom of the first - a two-run shot. Back-to-back hits from Ryan Campos and Joe Lampe turned the lineup over and gave ASU a fresh start with the score knotted up at four.
Before tying it up in the fifth, Arizona State went through a drought where GCU hurler Carter Young set down 11 Sun Devils in a row. Young was freshman All-American last season, one of three to be featured on this Lopes team.
Another player from the All-American trio was shortstop Jacob Wilson, who is coming off a series that earned him Player of the Week recognition by multiple national outlets. After recording 10 consecutive hits this past weekend, Wilson kept his red-hot bat going in the sixth.
With two outs in the inning and a runner on first, Jared Glenn left a hanging breaking pitch that Wilson sent deep into his team’s bullpen in left field. That homer took any bit of momentum ASU had away from them and proved to be all GCU needed the rest of the way.
A run later that inning gave the Lopes a 7-4 advantage. The last run of the night came in the eighth when Ethan Long hit his second long ball, that was almost identical to the first. When touching home, Long was seen saying some words to the GCU pitcher and nobody in the light grey and purple jerseys found it amusing.
E8 | Long does it again, but ASU still trails by a pair.— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 23, 2022
7-5, Lopes, as we come down the stretch. pic.twitter.com/UoDD8Ycs58
There were some extracurricular activities with both coaches having to come out and divide the players from each other, but just as GCU’s bullpen was running in, the teams were organized and ready to play again.
Just two of the final eight batters reached base for ASU after the little skirmish and Grand Canyon closed it out.
Long’s success at the plate was a good sight for Sun Devil fans as they know what he can be capable of once he gets hot. Will Levine also threw three lights-out innings for ASU and looked to be in full control coming out of the bullpen.
Arizona State will need both of them to play big roles this weekend as they host Washington starting Friday night at 6 p.m. local time. As for Grand Canyon, they will not see them again until May 10 with the game being played at GCU.