PHOENIX – Shortstop Colby Woodmansee knocked in two doubles and a three-run home run, but Sun Devil Baseball was unable to recover from an early deficit in an 11-5 loss to Nevada on Tuesday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Sun Devils (4-1) fell into an early four-run deficit in the first inning and were never able to retake the lead as Nevada added seven more runs over the course of the game.
Arizona State put five runners in scoring position across the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and had the tying run on deck in all three frames, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Woodmansee played a role in all five of the Devils’ runs as he tallied three RBI and scored three times on a career-best eight total bases. He also tied a career high in both hits and runs scored, and has notched multiple RBI in three of the team’s first five games.
Center fielder Gage Canning added a season-high two RBI on a pair of singles to extend his hitting streak to five games and second baseman Andrew Snow went 3-for-3.
The Wolf Pack (3-2) scored four unearned runs on a pair of Sun Devil fielding errors, including two in the first and two in the eighth, and ASU used five pitchers in the loss.
Freshman right-hander Fitz Stadler (0-1) took the loss in his first career start as he conceded six runs, including four earned, on six hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings. Right-hander Grant Schneider retired the first four batters he faced, but allowed three runs on a pair of hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings.
A pair of right-handed relievers did not allow an earned run in 4 1/3 innings as freshman Chris Isbell tossed a pair of scoreless innings and allowed just three base runners via two walks and a hit in his first career appearance, while right-hander Eric Melbostad surrendered a hit and a walk, but was saddled with a pair of unearned runs. Left-hander Garvin Alston, Jr., also in his first career appearance, retired both batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
Nevada used four hits and a fielding error to jump ahead, 4-0, in the opening frame. The Wolf Pack turned Stadler’s first pitch of the game into a single up the middle, and added a RBI triple, a sacrifice fly and another base hit. Left fielder Daniel Williams misplayed a fly ball with two outs to allow both runners to move into scoring position, and Nevada left fielder Keaton Smith capitalized on the mistake with a two-run single in the following at-bat.
The Devils used a double off the wall in left field from Woodmansee and a RBI single from Canning to get on the scoreboard in the second inning and cut the gap to three.
Stadler put together a perfect second inning, but a two-run homer from third baseman Bryce Greager in the top of the third added to Nevada’s lead, 6-1, and a single in the next at-bat ended Stadler’s outing. Schneider took over and retired two straight to end the inning.
Schneider issued three consecutive two-out walks to load the bases in the fourth, and Nevada responded with consecutive singles to clear the bases and move ahead by seven, 9-2. Woodmansee notched his second double of the night and came home on a single from Canning to earn back a run.
Woodmansee exploited a two-out error by the Wolf Pack in the bottom of the fifth with a three-run homer over the left-field wall that brought the Devils back within four, 9-5. ASU put the tying run on deck with a pair of walks, but a swinging strikeout ended the rally.
The Wolf Pack added two unearned runs in the top of the eighth on a fielding error by third baseman Jordan Aboites to put the game out of reach.
Notes: The Devils had not trailed in 36 innings heading into tonight’s game…first baseman David Greer and outfielder Daniel Williams have a hit in each of the team’s first five games…Canning made his first career start in center field, Andrew Shaps his first career start at designated hitter, and Ryan Lillard his first career start in right field.
The Devils head to California for a three-game set with Long Beach State Feb. 26-28. First pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday slated for 3 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. All times AZ/MT.