ASU Baseball: Devils Get Back On Track With Win Over UNLV

Oct 15, 2016; Boulder, CO, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils mascot Sparky poses for a photo during the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2016; Boulder, CO, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils mascot Sparky poses for a photo during the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The ASU Baseball team ended their five game losing streak at home Tuesday after a 5-3 win over UNLV to improve their record to 13-18.

“We’ve got a long way to go there’s no doubt about it,” head coach Tracy “Skip” Smith said, “but that old saying winning beats losing, I would say that holds very true.”

The team for the first time in a while jumped out to an early lead, taking a 3-0 lead after the second inning.

“We’ve been down the past like seven games like four or five runs right out of the get go,” third baseman Jeremy McCuin said, “and I think jumping out, getting a lead was big for us because it gives you comfort out their.”

They got those early runs from two sac flies and a Tyler Williams pinch hit home run in the second.

The Sun Devils got the bat on the ball often, only tallying five total strikeouts and creating opportunities for runs by simply putting the ball in play.

“They were aggressive, stepping in the box with the right mindset”, Smith said about his team’s hitting. “I thought our guys for the most part swung the bats well tonight, even our outs were hard outs.”

The early lead from the maroon and gold helped out the Devils ace Eli Lingos get comfortable and settle in for 5.1 innings, only giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits.

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Smith did not want to put his team’s best shot of winning in a while in any sort of jeopardy. For that he called upon senior Eder Erives who was flawless.

Ervies gave up zero runs on zero hits in 3.2 innings halting the Rebels’ comeback.

Skip had to go all out for the win Tuesday to boost morale and get his guys back on the right track, without worrying about whose going out there this weekend.

“The idea was our best pitcher, one of our best pitchers is ready to go, let’s try to go get the win,” Smith said, “and we’ll worry about the weekend on the weekend . . . we gotta get a win and gotta get these guys feeling good about themselves.”

Tuesday’s win will try to work as the spark-plug for the rest of the Devil’s season.

Currently last in the Pac-12 and in jeopardy of being the first Arizona State team in 54 years to not win 30 games, ASU needs to turn the corner.

“When times are tough is when you see what you really have,” Skip said. “So from my perspective, I don’t know what the rest of the season holds, we’re going to battle like crazy and try and win one game at a time and worry about that.”

With a young team, sometimes there can be a rebuilding mode, but with Arizona State’s talent, including a number one ranked freshman class, they have the talent to compete and beat some of the top tier teams.

“We know that we’re better than all the teams we’ve played against,” Erives said. “We know that we have it, we know we have a lot of good talent, good players . . . we know what we have, we just haven’t showed it.”

In their previous series at Cal, the Devils scored two fewer runs in each of their three losses.

Tracy Smith wants this rough patch for his players and program to be a learning lesson on adversity and to teach them to fight through and keep competing through the tough stretches.

Last weekend, he wasn’t seeing the effort from ASU, calling out his players for their effort and quitting.

“Last weekend, honestly I thought we quit, I thought our team quit,” Skip said. “What we’re searching for is a staff is who’s going to keep playing regardless of what happens of what the score is, because that to me is a bigger measuring stick of how this program is going to move forward and get back into national relevance.”

This team will need to take it one game and one year at a time to climb up the Pac-12 standings and back into national relevance.

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They will take the field again Thursday as they look to start a winning streak when ASU freshman Chaz Montoya takes the mound versus Washington State.