Trojans Tie Things Up Late, Eventually Fall 5-3 in Game One at Arizona State
April 4, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. - Despite scratching back to tie things up 3-3 in the top of the eighth inning, the Trojans fell 5-3 to Arizona State in game one of the series on Friday evening at Packard Stadium.
The Trojans were led at the plate by AJ Ramirez (Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS) and Jake Hernandez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS), who both had two hits on the day. Hernandez and Dante Flores (Norwalk, Calif./St. John Bosco HS) each had an RBI on the day. However, the Trojans offense was unable to generate any more power, as they stranded nine runners on base.
The Trojans had an opportunity to jump on to the Sun Devils early, loading the bases with just one out, but they were unable to plate a run, as a 5-3 double play ended the early Trojan threat.
The Trojans again were plagued by walks and hit-by-pitches in the early going, as starter Wyatt Strahan (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS) walked five batter and hit two batters. All three of the runners that scored for the Sun Devils reached base on either a walk (two runs) or a hit-by-pitch (one run). Strahan locked in after allowing the Sun Devils one run in the bottom of the first and two in the bottom of the third, going six complete innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out four. He was able to pitch out of jams in the second, fourth and fifth innings.
Down 3-0 through three innings, the Trojans got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. After Jeremy Martinez (Fountain Valley, Calif./Mater Dei HS) led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch, Ramirez singled through the left side to put two on for Timmy Robinson (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS), who laid down the successful sacrifice bunt. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out, Hernandez laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to bring the run home and get the Trojans on the board, 3-1.
With the score still 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Sun Devils threatened with runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out, sophomore lefty Marc Huberman (Los Angeles, Calif./Hamilton HS) entered and got out of the jam, inducing a weak infield pop up and a flyout to end the threat and keep the score 3-1 Sun Devils.
In what seems to have become habit this season, the Trojans came through with another top of the eighth rally, as Ramirez came through with a 1-out single up the middle against Sun Devil reliever Jordan Aboites, who entered in the sixth inning and pitched out of a jam. Robinson singled up the middle to put runners at 1st and 2nd. The Trojans continued to play station-to-station baseball as Hernandez delivered another single to load the bases with one out. Sun Devil closer Ryan Burr entered, and with the bases loaded Flores hit into a fielder's choice and got the RBI, as Ramirez scored from third, Robinson advanced to third and Hernandez was out at second. A wild pitch by Burr went to the backstop, allowing Robinson to come home from third to tie things up, 3-3.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, however, the Sun Devils answered with a two-out rally of their own. After a two-out single from Johnny Sewald, he advanced to second on a wild pitch. However, Trever Allen reached on a walk, two-straight singles plated two more runs for the Sun Devils, 5-3.
In the top of the ninth Swick drew a one-out walk, stole second and then advanced to third on a fly out by Garrett Stubbs (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines HS), but the Trojans were unable to make anything else happen, falling 5-3.
Game two of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. PT at Packard Stadium on Saturday evening.