Defensive Miscues Cost Sun Devil Baseball in Territorial Cup Opener
PHOENIX – Sun Devil Baseball dropped the Territorial Cup series opener to No. 16 Arizona, 10-5, Thursday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Arizona State (15-6, 4-3) erased an early three-run deficit with a five-run fourth inning, but could not overcome a six-run seventh from the Wildcats. The same two teams will match up over the next two days, as the Sun Devils still have the opportunity to clinch the series with two wins.
An uncharacteristically sloppy defensive effort resulted in a season-high four errors and six unearned runs, as Arizona capitalized on the Sun Devils' mistakes. ASU came into the game as the 18th-best fielding team in the country with a .980 percentage.
An explosive five-run bottom of the fourth chased Arizona Friday Night starter Chase Silseth after four innings, his shortest start of the season. RBI singles from Ethan Long, Sam Ferri, and Drew Swift were part of a relentless offensive effort.
Holding a 5-4 lead heading into the seventh inning, Arizona used a three-error Sun Devil inning to score six runs. Graham Osman was able to come in and get the final two outs to prevent any further damage, but Arizona State could not solve Wildcats' reliever Chandler Murphy to make up the five-run deficit.
- With his fourth inning single, Sean McLain extended his hitting streak to 19 games.
- For only the second time this year, Arizona ace right-hander Chase Silseth was removed after four innings due to an excellent offensive approach by the Sun Devils.
- A season-high four errors was atypical of the nation's 18th-best defense coming into the game, fielding at a .980 clip.
- Thanks to two scoreless innings tonight, Christian Bodlovich extended his scoreless streak to seven innings.
- Ethan Long registered his fifth multi-hit game of the season in only 11 starts.
- Joe Lampe added to his team-leading RBI total, now with 15 on the year.
- Graham Osman has now not allowed a run in eight of his 11 appearances.
The Sun Devils take on Arizona tomorrow at 6 pm and finish up the series with a 7 pm Saturday matchup. For the first time this season, the Sun Devils will be featured on the Pac-12 Network regionally. Dominic Cotroneo will be on the call. Each game will also be broadcast over the airwaves on 1060 AM KDUS. Fans are encouraged to follow along pre-game and in-game content throughout the weekend on the Sun Devil Baseball Twitter account: @ASU_Baseball, especially for key weather updates and time changes.