Smith on pinch-hitting decision in ninth inning and more from 7-5 loss to No. 14 Stanford

Matt Winaker broke open a close game with a three-run home run off the Phoenix Municipal Stadium scoreboard Friday night in No. 14 Stanford’s 7-5 win over Arizona State.

The Cardinal (29-12, 12-7 Pac-12) extended their nation-leading win streak to 10 games. ASU fell to 19-23, 6-13. Game 2 of the series is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Ryan Hingst, ASU’s third pitcher, retired the first two men in the fifth then gave up singles to Brandon Wulff and Maverick Handley before Winaker’s fifth homer on the first pitch.

ASU cut into a 3-0 deficit with runs in the third on a Taylor Lane sacrifice fly and on Gage Canning’s solo homer (his fourth) to right in the fourth.

The Sun Devils added a run in the sixth on a Tyler Williams RBI single. Stanford answered in the seventh with a solo homer by designated hitter Daniel Bakst.

Zach Cerbo singled in a run for ASU in the seventh. Andrew Shaps’ solo homer to center in the eighth was his fifth.

In the ASU ninth, Hunter Bishop and Lane reached on singles but pinch hitter Ryan Lillard failed to get a bunt down and struck out. Cerbo then hit into a game-ending double play. 

“To the credit of the guys, they didn’t quit,” ASU coach Tracy Smith said of trailing all game. “You’re in the ninth inning with the go-ahead run at the plate and three cracks at it. It just didn’t happen, but I can’t fault from an offensive standpoint their effort tonight. The effort and focus was there against a very good pitching staff.”

Stanford built its early lead with single runs in each of the first three innings but left the bases loaded in the first and second.

ASU starter pitcher Eder Erives was hit hard and only worked into the second. He was replaced by Jake Godfrey, then Hingst in the third. Hinst pitched a season-high six innings (98 pitches), giving up seven hits and four earned runs. 

“The fact he (Hingst) was able to come in there and stabilize things with six innings was a definite plus,” Smith said. “The one bad inning, that’s going to happen. But for the most part, I thought he did a pretty decent job.”

Tyler Thorne (4-1) was the winning pitcher with Colton Hock earning his 13th save. Erives (0-3) took the loss.

Sophomore pitchers Zach Dixon and Chris Isbell have left ASU’s team after being told they would not be on the travel squad for the final month of the season.

ASU softball 9, California 7

ASU softball (29-16) hit three home runs in a 9-7 win over California on Friday in Tempe. Sashel Palacios led the way with three RBIs on three hits, and Dale Ryndak picked up the save as the Sun Devils held off a seventh-inning rally, limiting California to three runs. 


Stanford at Arizona State

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Radio: KDUS-AM (1060).

ASU: The Sun Devils (19-22, 6-12) went 1-2 last week at Oregon. They have not had a losing season since 1985 (31-35), not including 2007 when they vacated 44 wins due to NCAA sanctions. ASU has 14 games remaining. OF Gage Canning continues to be one of the national leaders in triples with seven and is hitting .348. Eli Lingos (6-3, 3.33 ERA) is tied for the Pac-12 lead in pitching starts (12). OF Andrew Shaps has reached base in 17 consecutive games, the junior’s career high.

Stanford: No. 14 Stanford (28-12, 11-7) is on a nine-game winning streak, longest in the nation, that includes Pac-12 series sweeps over Oregon and No. 19 Arizona. The Cardinal have won their last four games by one or two runs. 1B Matt Winaker is Pac-12 Player of the Week, hitting .400 last week. Stanford’s earned run average is 3.20, second best in the Pac-12. Chris Castellanos is 7-1 with a 2.62 ERA. Coach Mark Marquess is in his 41st and final season before retirement with his team having clinched his 39th winning season. 

MORE: Pac-12 baseball standings

ASU softball

ASU (28-16 overall, 7-11) vs. Cal (27-19, 3-14)

Friday, ASU vs. Cal, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

Saturday, ASU vs. Cal, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

Sunday, ASU vs. Cal, 3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks

MORE: Pac-12 softball standings

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