Sun Devil Baseball Comes Short in Series Finale vs. #18 Stanford
PHOENIX -- Sun Devil Baseball dropped its series finale and rubber match against #18 Stanford, 13-5, on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Despite 13 hits, ASU (19-11, 8-7 Pac-12) struggled to get the timely ones again while the pitching staff couldn't get a shutdown inning as Stanford (22-7, 8-4 Pac-12) scored runs in six of nine innings – including a disastrous seven-run ninth inning after ASU trailed by only a run after eight. Two errors and 11 batters walked also hurt the Sun Devil cause.
Jack Moss and Hunter Haas record three-hit efforts for ASU while Joe Lampe and Sean McLain also added a pair of hits but ASU was just 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and wasn't able to capitalize on a solid day at the plate.
The Sun Devil defense turned three double plays on the day after turning four on Saturday, helping ASU escape jams and stay within striking distance until Stanford ninth-inning explosion off of ASU's depleted bullpen.
The Sun Devils have a busy week ahead in which they will play six games in seven days beginning with a home and home against Grand Canyon starting at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Tuesday night before heading across town on Wednesday. The Sun Devils will hit to road for a three-game Pac-12 series against Utah before closing out the stretch with a non-conference road tilt against BYU on Monday.
- The Sun Devils turned seven double plays on the weekend and now have 28 on the year – noticeable as it only had six in the first 14 games of the season and have posted 22 in the last 16 games.
- Jack Moss now leads the team in Pac-12 games with a .385 average over 13 games with eight starts. His 10 RBI in those games are third on the squad and he leads the team with a .615 slugging percentage in the process. He finished 8-of-14 (.571) for the weekend against Stanford with a team-best four RBIs and three doubles.
- ASU record 12 doubles on the weekend, a series high for the year ahead of the nine it record against Washington State.
- Hunter Haas has 16 hits with runners in scoring position on 37 chances (.432). The 16 hits are six more than any other player on the roster. He is also tied with Drew Swift with 13 two-out RBI with 13 – five more than any other player on the team.
- ASU has stranded 261 opponents baserunners through 30 games, an average of 8.7 per game.
Both sides went down in order.
Stanford struck first on a leadoff solo shot from Robinson and immediately followed up with a walk but Thornton limited the damage to just the homer thanks to a nice play from Murphy on a liner to right. Murphy stole a run and plated a run with his sac fly in the bottom half to score Jack Moss and make it 1-1.
Stanford had runners on the corners with one out but Thornton got out of the jam with a double play. Drew Swift got on with a one out single and scored from first on Joe Lampe's bloop double to center that rolled away from the outfielders after a failed diving attempt to put ASU up 2-1.
Stanford knotted things back up but the damage could have been worse with two on and no outs. Thornton got a double play and flyout to keep things tied. ASU mounted a two-out rally in the bottom half to go back ahead as Hunter Haas singled and stole second and Nick Cheema brought him home on a tough-hop double down the third base line to make it 3-2.
Stanford again rallied, loading the bases with no outs and tying things on a sac fly to center. Stanford reloaded the bases with one out and scored on an RBI ground out to reclaim a 4-3 advantage but Jared Glenn got a big strikeout to end the inning and keep it a one-run game. ASU threatened in the bottom half with back-to-back leadoff singles and then loading the bases with two outs but couldn't capitalize.
Stanford added two-out unearned insurance run on an error to make it 5-3 while the Sun Devils went down in order.
Stanford continues to pad its lead but ASU limited the damage. An RBI ground-rule double plated one and the Cardinal loaded the bases with one out but Brock Peery was able to keep the damage there. The Sun Devils got a much-needed bottom half the frame with a leadoff HBP by Lampe scoring on an RBI Sean McLain double. Jack Moss followed two batters later with an RBI single to bring the Devils back within a run.
Stanford had an opportunity thanks to some shoddy outfield defense from the Devils having trouble tracking balls but ASU turned a double play and Brady Corrigan made a nice play off the mound to get ASU out of the jam. The Devils went down in order.
Stanford got an insurance run with a one-out solo shot to make it 7-5 and added another on a two-out bases-loaded single and blew it open with a grand slam en route to a seven-run inning to put the game out of reach, 13-5.