The Diamondbacks got a jump on the rest of the Cactus League on Wednesday, meeting Arizona State’s baseball team in a seven-inning exhibition game as part of the annual Collegiate Baseball Series and defeating the Sun Devils 6-2 at Salt River Fields.
First baseman Christian Walker went 2 for 2 with a two-run single in the first inning for the Diamondbacks, and shortstop Tony Renda hit an RBI triple to right field for the go-ahead run in the fifth. Arizona added four runs in the sixth, two by way of bases-loaded walks.
Taylor Clarke threw a scoreless first inning for the Diamondbacks, who also got clean innings out of Ryan Atkinson, Michael Dimock, David Carpenter, Parker Markel and Taylor Grover. Left-hander Yuhei Nakaushiro, who signed with the Diamondbacks as a minor-league free agent in 2016, got roughed up during a two-run second inning, which included walking in a run.
ASU had five hits in the game, including Scott Mehan's RBI single in the second inning. ASU starter Ryan Hingst faced eight batters over two innings and allowed four hits and two earned runs.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo didn’t use any of his everyday major leaguers, relying mostly on minor-league talent, especially younger players in Arizona’s farm system.
“We knew that this would be a challenge for us, but it was on the schedule and we had plenty time to prepare for it,” Lovullo said in regards to playing two days earlier than the rest of the Cactus League. “We did our best to prepare for it by having some of our players come in and do some base running and just get themselves ready to go.”