ASU Baseball: Sun Devil bats go cold in loss to USC

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft /

Cold bats and a litany of fielding mistakes doomed ASU baseball Saturday evening as they were blown out by USC 10-1.

The ASU offense was shut down by USC starter Soloman Bates in Saturday’s contest as they were only able to manage three hits off of the junior righty.

Bates was phenomenal, scattering those three hits across 7.2 innings of work while only allowing one run and two walks.

He also struck out nine Sun Devils, including three for leadoff hitter Gage Canning and two for the No. 3 hitter Lyle Lin.

Bates went into cruise control early, only surrendering one hit after the third inning while also only allowing more than four hitters to come to the plate in an inning just once.

“That kid was on. He was really good tonight,” ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. “He was beating some pretty good hitters with one pitch, so he was doing something special.”

The Sun Devils needed another good performance from starter Eli Lingos to keep pace with Bates and the Trojans, but ASU’s ace was not able to repeat the magic from his last few performances.

In what was the worst start in his otherwise great season, Lingos gave up 10 hits and eight runs while only making it through 4.1 innings.

The Trojan bats caught fire after only managing one run on Friday, tagging Lingos for four doubles and many hard hit balls.

“He wasn’t pitching off of his change up as much as normal because they had more left handed hitters,” Smith said about Lingos’ performance. “He wasn’t particularly sharp tonight, but that guy has been good for us up to his point and sometimes you just don’t have your best stuff.”

Smith also acknowledged that an increased workload may have also contributed to Lingos’ uncharacteristic performance.

“We’ve asked a lot of him lately, and maybe he was a little tired because we bumped him up a day,” Smith said.

Lingos was not his usual self, but his defense did him no favors as three of the runs he gave up were unearned.

The ASU defense committed three errors in Saturday’s contest in the form of throwing errors by Lingos and shortstop Drew Swift and a fielding error by right fielder Hunter Bishop.

The Sun Devils also committed a number of harmful defensive miscues that weren’t ruled errors, including Bishop losing a ball in the lights that fell fair and third baseman Gage Workman overrunning a foul pop up near the railing that prolonged an at bat.

“My rational brain says that these guys are gonna take a little bit of time,” Smith said.

Next: ASU Baseball: Marsh dominates Trojans in series opener

The Sun Devils’ record fell to 14-17 overall and 6-5 in conference with the loss, while USC’s record improved to 15-12 overall and 4-7 in conference.  ASU will wrap up their series with the Trojans Sunday at 12:30 p.m. PST as they look to take the rubber match of the three game series.

All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.