Starting pitcher Chaz Montoya allowed six runs on eight hits and five walks as ASU baseball (12-17) dropped its second consecutive game to host California, losing 6-4 on Saturday in Berkeley.
Andrew Shaps had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Sun Devils, who will close out the series at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Friday: California 9, ASU baseball 6
ASU baseball (12-16) scored five runs in the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a big early hole in a 9-6 loss to California in Berkeley, Calif.
Cal jumped out to a five-run lead in the first two innings, as Sun Devils starting pitcher Eli Lingos lasted just 2/3 of an inning, allowing two runs on four hits. Eder Erives pitched five innings of relief, allowing five runs on seven hits.
ASU returns to action at noon Saturday.
When: 4 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif.
TV: Pac-12 Network.
Radio: KDUS-AM (1060), Saturday and Sunday.
ASU: The Sun Devils have been outscored 28-6 in their last two games, falling to 12-15 overall, 2-7 Pac-12. They lost 11-2 at No. 8 Arizona in a non-conference game Tuesday. Their team earned run average is a Pac-12 worst 5.55 and they are in the bottom half of the conference in batting (.259) and fielding (.964). Freshman Chaz Montoya is a pitching bright spot with a 1.53 ERA in his last four games with two wins. Junior Eli Lingos has been most consistent on the mound and is 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA in seven starts. Freshman Lyle Lin carries a 10-game hitting streak and .369 average into the weekend. ASU won two of three over Cal last season.
Cal: The Bears are 12-14, 4-5 Pac-12. They swept Washington State last weekend then lost 8-4 to No. 23 Stanford in a non-conference game Tuesday. Cal is better statistically in all three major team categories than ASU. 1B Andrew Vaughn is hitting .366 with seven home runs and 23 RBI. C Tyrus Greene, OF Jeffrey Mitchell and SS Cameron Eden are other hitting leaders. Jared Horn (2-2, 3.94), Joey Matulovich (3-0, 3.40) and Matt Ladrech (1-0, 0.68 in three appearances) are the projected starting pitchers.
No. 8 UA baseball pounds ASU in first of five meetings
The Wildcats lead the Pac-12 in hitting, with a team average of .328 going into the Tuesday, April 4 game against ASU. The Sun Devils are last in the conference in pitching with a collective 5.35 earned run average before the first of five rivalry games at Hi Corbett Field.
Not to mention that the Sun Devils are young, starting three freshmen, and the Wildcats are still loaded with position player talent from their 2016 College World Series runner-up team.
The matchup isn’t a good one on paper and wasn’t on the field in the first go-round. UA put up five runs in the first three innings off Jake Godfrey (2-2) on the way to an 11-2 non-conference victory before a UA season-high 4,644 fans.
The second non-conference game is May 9 in Tucson, with the Pac-12 series May 18-20 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
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Arizona State at Arizona
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Hi Corbett Field, Tucson.
Radio: KDUS-AM (1060).
ASU: After losing a home series against UCLA, ASU fell to 12-14, 2-7 Pac-12 and now plays Arizona in the first of two non-conference games in Tucson with the second May 9. The Pac-12 rivalry series is May 18-20 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. UCLA scored a combined 30 runs against the Sun Devils, who used six pitchers in a 17-4 loss Sunday. 3B Taylor Lane was 8-of-14 in four games last week and had a game-winning RBI. 1B Lyle Lin has 13 multi-hit games in the first 26 of his college career and is hitting .374 with 17 RBI. ASU went 3-2 vs. UA last season to win the Territorial Cup Series baseball point. IF Jackson Willeford began his career at Arizona.
UA: Arizona swept USC last weekend, improving to 20-7, 5-4 and remain undefeated (16-0) at home. The Wildcats are up three spots to No. 8 in the USA Today coaches top 25, still topped by No. 1 Oregon State. The Wildcats reached the College World Series championship final last season, falling one win short of a national title. DH Alfonso Rivas, 1B JJ Matijevic, 3B Nick Quintana, CF Jared Oliva and LF Mitchell Morimoto are hitting between .349 and .391 with all but Morimoto having 24 or more RBI.