Feb. 25, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - The 12th-ranked Arizona State baseball team scattered eight hits across nine innings, but scored only one run in a 3-1 loss to UC Riverside on Saturday at Packard Stadium. It was the first loss of the season for the Sun Devils.
The Devils (4-1) made things interesting in the bottom of the eighth as sophomore outfielder Kasey Coffman hit a stand-up double to right-center field. Shortstop Deven Marrero followed with a soft-hit single and Coffman escaped a pickle on the third-base path to give ASU two baserunners with one out. Junior infielder Joey DeMichele flied out to center field to move Coffman to third, but a groundout by senior first baseman Abe Ruiz ended the inning.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Beau Maggi and junior catcher Max Rossiter, pinch-hitting, each hit a one-out single through the right side to give ASU two players on base with one out again in the ninth inning. A double steal by pinch runners Tucker Esmay and Michael Benjamin gave the Devils a pair of runners in scoring position, but back-to-back outs ended the game.
ASU freshman right-hander Darin Gillies (0-1), making his first career start, gave up three hits and two earned runs in 2.1 innings to take the loss. Junior right-hander Alex Blackford came in with one out and the bases loaded in the third, but forced a popup to Marrero before striking out the next batter to end the inning.
Blackford conceded one earned run on five hits in 4.2 innings, and junior left-hander Matt Dunbar pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning with no hits and one strikeout.
The Highlanders (3-3) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on back-to-back RBI singles to right field by junior infielder Eddie Young and junior catcher Clayton Prestridge. Young and Prestridge were also responsible for two of the Highlanders' three runs in Friday night's game.
Bart Steponovich tacked on a run for UC Riverside in the sixth inning with an RBI fielders choice, scoring Phil Holinsworth, who reached base on a leadoff single.
DeMichele scored the only run for the Devils, hitting a solo home run to right field in the fourth inning, his first of the season, to bring ASU within one, 2-1.
UC Riverside starting right-hander Eddie Orozco (1-1) earned his first win of the season after going six innings and allowing four hits and one earned run. Sophomore left-hander Ben Doucette went 2.1 innings and gave up three hits, while sophomore right-hander Joie Dunyon (1) recorded his first save of the season after getting the final two outs of the game.
The Sun Devils close out their three-game series against UC Riverside on Sunday at Packard Stadium with the first pitch set for 12:30 p.m. Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens have the call on Sun Devils Sports Network.