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Sun Devil Baseball Falls in Extra Innings

Feb 19, 2022

PHOENIX – Sun Devil Baseball rallied to force extra innings, but ultimately dropped game two of the three-game set to Dixie State, 7-6, in 10 innings on Saturday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

It was a back-and forth affair all evening, highlighted by Joe Lampe's four-hit performance where he was a triple short of the cycle. Kai Murphy added two doubles and Conor Davis continued his impressive start to the year with a 3-for-4 effort.

After a clean game in the field last night, the Sun Devil defense saw some struggles on Saturday with a pair of errors by the pitching staff that would prove to be the difference in the contest. 

TURNING POINT

Thanks to some clutch defensive work in the top of the ninth, Arizona State kept the Trailblazers off the board to set up a comeback attempt. After a grounder to shortstop with the bases loaded, Hunter Haas made a quick throw to home to record the force out to keep the score at 6-5. A pop up the next pitch later allowed ASU to escape the inning only trailing by one.

Down to their final three outs, the Sun Devils were not ready to give in. Kai Murphy led the ninth inning off with a double, followed by a well-executed bunt from Alex Champagne to put runners on first and third with no outs.  Murphy would later score on a fielder's choice off the bat of Sean McLain, tying the game at six and providing free baseball for the home fans.

THE FINAL STRAW

Dixie State broke a 6-6 tie in the tenth inning, manufacturing a run from a leadoff single and error followed by a successful suicide squeeze. In the bottom half of the tenth, the Sun Devils could not rally, as the Trailblazers closed out a win in game two of the series.

NOTABLES

  • Joe Lampe was a bright spot, stuffing the stat sheet with an incredible offense performance. He went 4-for-5 including a home run in the third inning, driving in two runs and scoring three on his own. Lampe also stole a base for the 7th time in his career.

    • He now has six hits in his first ten at bats this season.

    • It is his first career four-hit outing.

  • Conor Davis has enjoyed a great start to his Sun Devil career, following up a two-hit night with three more knocks.

    • He already has two multi-hit games in the Maroon & Gold after recording 51 in his four seasons with Auburn.

  • Kyle Luckham, Tyler Meyer, and Chase Webster each made their first appearance as Sun Devils. Head Coach Willie Bloomquist made the right decision in the ninth when selecting Alex Champagne to pinch hit, as he delivered a bunt single in his first career at bat.

INNING-BY-INNING

First Inning

Kyle Luckham took the mound for the first time as a Sun Devil and posted a zero in the first inning with one strikeout. The Devils made an early defensive stand with the help of catcher Ryan Campos hosing down a stolen base attempt with a throw to second. Sean McLain led the game off with a double to center field that resulted in an RBI score from a Joe Lampe single immediately after as the Devils took an early 2-0 advantage.

Second Inning

It was a one, two, three inning courtesy of Sean McLain and Hunter Haas with a pair of defensive assists. Luckham topped it off with a nasty curveball strikeout. The bottom  of the Sun Devils' order couldn't get anything going to keep the score at 2-0.

Third Inning

Another three batters, another three outs as Luckham settled into his groove. After only hitting three home runs in his 56 game career, Joe Lampe showed off some juice as he launched a homer over the wall of dead center field for a 413 foot bomb to give ASU a 3-0 advantage.

Fourth Inning

It was a quiet start to the inning thanks to Will Rogers catching two flyouts in left field. Dixie State managed a couple jam shots singles to manufacture its first run but ASU limited the damage following a heads up play from Luckham who was there to catch an overthrown ball to home, resulting in an out as a runner attempted to advance to second. The Sun Devils' offense was held to zero and it remained a two run game at 3-1.

Fifth Inning

Dixie State began  with an early offensive stretch and put two leadoff runners on second and third respectively. Kyle Luckham finishes his impressive Sun Devils debut pitching 4.1 innings with 5 hits, 3 runs, and 3 strikeouts. Graham Osman took to the mound and struggled with his command, as DSU eventually plated three to take a 4-3 advantage. Osman did manage a strike 'em out-throw 'em out double play to end the frame without further damage done. The Devils went down on eight pitches in the bottom half of the frame.

Sixth Inning

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Meyer took command of the mound as the team head into the sixth inning. After Dixie's big inning, Meyer stranded a runner without much circumstance to keep Dixie off the board in the sixth. Joe Lampe continued his big day with a huge double and advancing to third and scoring on an Ethan Long sac fly to tie the game. A wild rundown play to conclude the inning allowed Conor Davis to scamper home before a double play was recorded, giving the Devils a 5-4 lead.

Seventh Inning

The Trailblazers continued to trade blows with the Devils to manufacture a run of their own on a sac fly but Meyer got a strikeout to cap his day at 2.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, and 2 strikeouts. The Sun Devils couldn't get anything going offensively with Dixie State holding Kai Murphy on the basepath for the duration of the inning after a leadoff double.

Eighth Inning

Junior pitcher Chase Webster and struggled to settle into a groove as Dixie State started off with a couple singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Webster struck one out and almost escaped the jam on a bang-bang double play effort that came up short resulting in a score by Dixie State to go ahead 6-5. The Devils didn't have an answer and trailed by one heading to the ninth. 

Ninth Inning

Right-handed pitcher Brock Peery made an appearance to begin the final inning but was replaced by sophomore Danny Marshall as Dixie State again loaded the bases, this time with two outs. On a soft grounder to short, Hunter Haas makes a clutch throw to home to force runner out. Dom Cacchione subbed in for Danny Marshall and immediately issued a pop out to escape the jam and keep ASU in striking distance. The Devils made it interesting in the end with big plays from Alex Champagne with a bunt single after a leadoff double from Murphy, ultimately leading to an RBI groundout from Sean McLain. ASU couldn't push forward the winning run, sending things to extras in just the second game of the year. 

Tenth Inning

Cacchione took the mound in the 10th but DSU quickly put the go-ahead run in scoring positions after some defensive miscues in the infield. The Sun Devils couldn't scrap back this time in the bottom of the tenth and went three and out.

UP NEXT

The Sun Devils finish their three-game set with Dixie State tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 p.m. AZT at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Fans can visit the baseball schedule page at www.thesundevils.com to follow the game via live stream or live stats. The projected pitching matchup is Arizona State's Jacob Walker and Dixie State's Ben Hart.