Bats Silent in 3-2 loss to Kansas

Arizona State's three losses now this season all have one thing in common; they all were low scoring games in which the Devils couldn't generate any runs. That was on display Saturday evening in Surprise when ASU couldn't muster much of anything off of Kansas starter T.J. Walz and fell to the Jayhawks 3-2.

ASU (13-3) collected seven hits and was aided by three errors by Kansas, but only could score two runs and stranded eight.

Kansas (10-4) got on the board right away in the first off of ASU starter Jason Franzblau. David Narodowski doubled to right to start the game and advanced to third on a single by Brian Heere.

Franzblau got Robby Price to pop out but then walked Buck Afenir to load the bases. Tony Thompson then doubled to centerfield to score Narodowski but Heere was cut down at the plate on a relay from Jason Kipnis to shortstop Drew Maggi to Carlos Ramirez at the plate. ASU evened the score at 1-1 in the second with a two out rally. Mike Leake doubled to right after Zach Wilson and Matt Newman were retired and the red hot Riccio Torrez drove him in with an RBI single to right and advanced to second on an error by Jayhawk RF Casey Lytle.

Raoul Torrez walked to extend the inning, but Drew Maggi grounded out to second to end the threat. Kansas quickly grabbed the lead back in the third inning and forced ASU to go to its bullpen early. Franzblau walked Price to lead off the inning and Afenir followed with an infield single.

Pat Murphy then turned to freshman Mitchell Lambson who got Thompson to strike out swinging before walking Lytle to load the bases.

Zac Elgie brought home Price with an RBI fielder's choice to make it 2-1 Jayhawks. Lambson worked out of the jam with no further damage by getting Jake Marasco to strike out swinging.

ASU didn't trail very long, as they knotted it back up in the bottom of the third thanks to some shaky KU defense. Kole Calhoun led off with a single and advanced all the way to third on an errant pick-off throw by Walz.

Jason Kipnis made it 2-2 with an RBI groundout. The Sun Devils had a golden chance to take the lead in the 5th, but failed to get a man home from third with less than two outs. Drew Maggi singled with one out and advanced to third on a hit by Calhoun. Jason Kipnis couldn't do what he did in the third, this time he struck out and couldn't get the run home. Carlos Ramirez ended the inning with a strike out, leaving what turned into a big run at third base.

Lambson was cruising along on the mound for ASU, until Kansas worked a little two out magic in the 7th. The southpaw struck out the first two batters he faced in the inning, but then allowed a double to left center by Heere. After a walk to Price, Buck Afenir drove in the go-ahead run with a single to right.

The Devils didn't threaten to tie the game until their last at bats. Riccio Torrez tried to start a rally by leading off with a single to center and his brother Raoul sacrificed him to second. Johnny Ruettiger was called upon to pinch hit for Maggi, but he grounded out to first, sending Torrez to third.

Kole Calhoun had two hits on the day, but struck out to end the game with the tying run just 90 feet away. TJ Walz worked 6 1/3 innings to pick up the victory for KU.

He allowed just one earned run and struck out six Sun Devils. Travis Blakenship, Brett Bochy and Paul Smyth closed the door on Walz' second victory of the season. Jason Franzblau lasted just two innings for ASU and was tagged with two runs on six hits. The tough luck loser was Lambson, who cruised through 5 2/3 innings and the freshman's only blemish was his four walks and the one deciding run.

Jordan Swagerty pitched the final 1 1/3 inning for ASU.

The rubber game of the three game set and ASU's final game of their week in Surprise will be tomorrow once again one hour after the Major League game that starts at 1PM.

Pat Murphy seems to have options on the mound as ace Mike Leake, Josh Spence and Matt Newman all should be ready to go.

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