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Defensive Miscues Cost Sun Devils in 3-2 Loss to Hawaii

Feb 26, 2021

Box Score

PHOENIX -- Sun Devil Baseball captured an early lead and received a laudable pitching display from a committee of freshman arms, but couldn't maintain the advantage late in a 3-2 loss to Hawai'i.

The Sun Devils were forced to veer off-script right out of the gate, lifting starting pitcher Cooper Benson who exited the game after just one inning out of caution and turning to the bullpen earlier than expected.

After the redshirt freshman Benson left early, the Sun Devils called on three more rookie arms the rest of the way. Redshirt freshmans Christian Bodlovich and Graham Osman as well as true freshman Ethan Long pieced together eight innings of three-run ball, with the Rainbow Warriors managing to produce only three runs.

The Sun Devils' offense seemed poised for a much-needed offensive breakout after scoring in each of the first two innings. ASU jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage thanks to a Sean McClain RBI double and a Joe Lampe RBI groundout, but the bats were blanked the rest of the night.

They were unable to solve the right-handed offerings from Hawaii's starter Aaron Davenport, a Preseason All-American, who limited ASU to just two runs over seven innings.

The Sun Devils had three players turn in multi-hit efforts, but were unable to produce the timely knock. Davenport soon got in a groove and the Hawaii bullpen ultimately closed the door on a potential comeback.


For eight innings, the Sun Devils called on three freshman relievers to keep the Rainbow Warriors at bay after Cooper Benson's early departure after the first. For seven of those innings, they had done just that.

But in the top of the ninth inning, the Rainbow Warriors grinded out just enough to produce the game-winning run, courtesy of a sacrifice fly off the bat of Aaron Ujimori.


First Inning

Back on the hill after a dominant showing on Opening Day, left-handed freshman Cooper Benson worked around a Rainbow Warriors' one-out double. He struck out two and stranded a runner on third. In the home half of the first, the Sun Devils got to work early against Hawaii's Aaron Davenport. Back-to-back doubles by Drew Swift and Sean McClain pushed across the game's first run, marking the first time ASU has scored in the first inning this season.

Second Inning

Freshman Christian Bodlovich came on in relief of Benson, who departed after one inning for an undisclosed reason. Despite being summoned from the bullpen earlier than anticipated, Bodlovich responded tremendously and tossed a snappy 11-pitch inning in his season debut. He punched out one and induced a 6-4-3 double-play ball. The bottom-half of the Sun Devils' order came through in the second,  producing another run after back-to-back singles, Kai Murphy's sacrifice bunt and Joe Lampe's RBI groundout.

Third Inning

Bodlovich was efficient again in the third, maneuvering around a two-out hit batsmen and effectively pitching to contact. Sean McClain led off the third with a single, his second hit of the night. It was the third consecutive inning the Sun Devils' lead-off man reached base, but they were unable to do further damage.

Fourth Inning

Bodlovich was solid again in the fourth, striking out two and inducing a lazy fly-out to the center fielder Lampe for his first 1-2-3 inning of the night. The Sun Devils had Davenport on the ropes again, but couldn't quite lift the lid. Murphy, with runners on first and second and one out, lined into a double-play to end the threat.

Fifth Inning

The Rainbow Warriors opened the fifth with a solo home run off the bat of Alex Baeza, who turned on a 2-2 offering from Bodlovich and sent it over the ASU bullpen in right field. The only blemish this point to Bodlovich's line, he shrugged off the lead-off jack and retired the next three Rainbow Warriors, keeping the ASU lead at 2-1. Davenport retired the side with ease, the first inning the Sun Devils went down in order.

Sixth Inning

After allowing the Rainbow Warriors lead-off man to reach base, Bodlovich was lifted for lefty Graham Osman, capping a terrific outing out of the 'pen. Osman flirted with trouble, giving up a single to the first hitter he faced to put runners on first and second with nobody out. But, the freshman hunkered down, dialing up the poise needed to retire the next three Hawai'i hitters and keep the ASU lead at 2-1. The Sun Devils were quiet again in the sixth, except for a one-out Nate Baez single, his first of the season which snapped an 0-for-14 skid.

Seventh Inning

For the second consecutive inning, the Rainbow Warriors' first two hitters reached base. This time, Osman was unable to leave unharmed, as Hawai'i pushed across the tying run via a two-out wild pitch. Osman labored through the rest of the inning, but ultimately kept the game tied. The Sun Devils went down again in order in the seventh, unable to solve Davenport since scoring last in the second.

Eighth Inning

Out for another inning of work, Osman greeted the Rainbow Warriors' 3-4-5 hitters with a quick, stress-free inning, retiring each of them in order. The Sun Devils had their best offensive chance since the fourth inning, stringing together some quality at-bats and getting the go-ahead run to third. But lefty Austin Teixeira, in for Davenport, buckled down and kept the game locked at two apiece.

Ninth Inning

After an Osman error and a sacrifice bunt opened the ninth, the Sun Devils turned to another freshman, Ethan Long, to bail them out of trouble. With runners on the corners and one away, Hawaii's Aaron Ujimori lifted a fly out to center, deep enough for the go-ahead run to score from third. The Sun Devils threatened in their last at-bats, getting the go-ahead run on base, but were unable to conjure up late-night heroics.


The Sun Devils continue their three-game set with Hawaii tomorrow with a double-header. First pitch for game one is at 2:05 pm MST, with game two scheduled for 6:35 pm MST immediately following the first game. Watch both game via the live stream or follow through live stats. The projected pitching matchup is Arizona State's Tyler Thornton and Hawai'i's Cade Halemanu.