Sun Devil baseball suffers midweek loss to New Mexico

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- In the first midweek game of Arizona State’s season, the No. 18 Sun Devils lost to the New Mexico Lobos, 7-1. 

Arizona State had just come off a three-game weekend series with Baylor, winning the last two games to take the series. New Mexico came in at 1-2 after losing at San Diego twice.

The first run was scored by New Mexico (2-2), when rightfielder Chase Harris hit a sacrifice ground ball to second, bringing centerfielder Aaron Siple home and giving the Lobos a 1-0 lead.  

After Lobos designated hitter Jack Zoellner doubled to start the top of the fourth, third baseman Jered Meek singled to center two batters later. Zoellner came around to score and New Mexico took a two run lead.

Arizona State (2-2) countered in the bottom of the fourth when David Graybill hit a solo home run to left center. It was Graybill’s first home run of the season, cutting the 2-0 deficit in half.

The wheels fell off for the Sun Devils in the top of the fifth when the Lobos scored five runs. Leftfielder John Pustay singled in second baseman Sam Haggerty to start the scoring, making the score 3-1. Arizona State brought in RHP Mark Lambson to relieve Gillies, but two batters later, designated hitter Ryan Padilla hit a blooper over the infield to plate two more runners. Shortstop Jared Holley and Siple also singled in runs, making the score 7-1 at inning’s end. The score would stay that way until the end of the game.

“We didn’t make adjustments,” head coach Tim Esmay said simply after the game. “They came in and pitched us a little differently than we were pitched this weekend. They were commanding a lot of off-speed early in the count and we weren’t as patient or we weren’t as disciplined as we were over the weekend.”

Junior Darin Gillies was announced as the starter on Tuesday. Gillies (0-1) threw three innings in Arizona State’s opening day loss to Baylor on Friday. The right-hander tossed 4.1 innings this time around, surrendering nine hits, six runs and three walks while picking up five strikeouts in his first loss of the season.

RHPs Mark Lambson and Eder Erives and LHP Nick Diamond finished the game out of the bullpen for the Sun Devils. Diamond gave the best performance of the three, going three strong innings and only allowing one hit while striking out three. The redshirt freshman has been establishing himself as a one of the bullpen’s top arms early on in the season.

Arizona State missed its chances many times over the course of the game. The Sun Devils loaded the bases in both the second and fourth innings, but left all three runners on base. They also stranded two runners in the sixth and one in the eighth. While Esmay was not pleased that those runners did not score, he found a silver lining that he says was more valuable.

“I look at it from an offensive standpoint as, ‘We’ve got guys on base,’” said Esmay. “All those things start to kind of take care of themselves.”

In the field, Sun Devils shortstop Drew Stankiewicz committed two errors on the night and second baseman David Greer was charged with an error as well.  

Arizona State will look to turn things around this weekend when they head to Long Beach for games against Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Wright State. First pitch against Long Beach State on Friday is scheduled for 7:00pm MST.