Chaotic Second-Inning Dooms Devils in Opener at #14 Stanford
PALO ALTO -- An inauspicious second inning set the tone for the night as Sun Devil Baseball wasn't able to find a rally in an 8-0 loss against No. 14 Stanford on Friday night at the Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.
While there were few bright spots, Jared Glenn was the hero of the game after forced into action with very little time to warm up in the second inning. Glenn managing to save the bullpen by giving the Devils 4.1 innings of one-run relief while keeping ASU within a striking distance that the Devils have shown they could manage in recent weeks.
Nate Baez was the only offensive highlight of the evening, garnering two of ASU's three hits.
The story of the game really starts and ends with that second inning. Stanford struck first on a leadoff solo shot off of starter Kyle Luckham on an at-bat that was kept alive by a borderline ball three call on a 2-2 count.
After getting the next two outs, Luckham gave up a two-out single, stolen base and a walk to put two runners on. Carter Graham made Luckham pay for the two-out offerings with a three-run shot to make it a 4-0 game. That's where the wheels came off.
Luckham, frustrated, lost control of his next pitch and it unfortunately struck Brett Barrera in the head. Despite clearly being inadvertent, Luckham was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Ramon Armendariz without being given a warning. That prompted a fierce response from head coach Willie Bloomquist, who was also tossed in the ensuing raucous.
Glenn, forced into action with no prior lead time, did as well as could be expected. He did give up a two-run shot to the first batter he faced, making it a 6-0 ballgame in the second. However, Glenn would retire 13 of the next 15 batters he faced in pivotal innings to save the ASU bullpen for the rest of the series.
The two squads will reconvene tomorrow at 2 p.m. AZT. The game is available through the Stanford Live Stream and over the local airwaves on KDUS 1060 AM.