Las Vegas has not been kind to the Sun Devils lately. Following a rough bowl game in Allegiant Stadium and tough opening round flounder in the Pac-12 Tournament, it is safe to say that Sin City and Arizona State sports do not mesh well.
ASU baseball (11-15) had a chance to flip the script on Tuesday night when they travelled to UNLV (16-9) for a midweek non conference matchup. The Sun Devils mounted a five-run comeback in the last four frames, but were not able to hang on, losing to the Rebels 11-10.
The Rebels’ winning run crossed home plate on a wild pitch by Brock Peery in the ninth. Peery entered the game for Blake Pivaroff, who gave up a triple to start the inning and intentionally walked the next two hitters.
Pivaroff and Peery were the sixth and seventh pitchers used by ASU on Tuesday night, as the Sun Devils did not have a single arm throw for more than 1.2 innings or 33 pitches.
The Sun Devils struck first to start, leading 2-0. The lead was short-lived as the Rebels rattled off six unanswered runs, two of which came via Graham Osman walking batters with the bases juiced.
The teams traded punches in the fourth. Sean McLain hit a two-run bomb to chip away at the deficit, but UNLV responded with a two-out bases-loaded triple. McLain ended his night going 2-6 with three RBIs and two runs.
Joe Lampe continued to rake at the plate as well and probably had the biggest hit of the night in the seventh. He golfed a three-run shot to right-center that cut UNLV’s lead to one and added to his team-leading home run total (now at eight). Lampe also scored four runs to go along with his three-RBI and 3-6 night.
ASU scored via the long ball to come back, but used small ball to tie it in the ninth. A lead-off double by pinch-hitter Jacob Tobias allowed Hunter Haas (as the pinch-runner) to advance on a sacrifice fly and be singled home by Alex Champagne.
Willie Bloomquist and Co. will return to the confines of Phoenix Muni for a weekend series with California. The first of three games is set to start at 6:30 p.m. local time on Friday night.