If the Sun Devils were worn out after Friday's 11-inning affair their bats sure didn't show it. Back on the field 15 hours after their late season-opening victory, the boys in maroon and gold took it to Bethune Cookman Saturday, compiling 19 hits to cruise to a 15-7 series-sealing victory.
Twelve different Devils had at least one hit including six different players with two or more. Operating with a comfortable cushion, ASU's freshmen saw solid playing time as well which allowed Dalton Dinatale, Cullen O'Dwyer, RJ Ybarra, David Graybill and Tony DiMartino to earn their first career collegiate hits.
"I was extremely nervous," said Graybill, who ended up producing a game-high three hits. "I was trying to hit the ball, square it up...just trying to put good swings on the ball and it worked out."
But while the freshmen in the field deserve their fair share of kudos, it was a first year player on the bump who really stole the show. After starter Adam McCreery (six runs allowed, four walks) struggled mightily through three innings, manager Tim Esmay decided to give Ryan Kellogg his first taste of action with the Devils leading 8-6. The Ontario native rewarded Esmay's bold move by giving him four innings of shutout baseball.
"I wasn't expecting that all," said Kellogg after logging the win. "Nerves were definitely going, shaking a little bit out there but once you get the first out out of the way you start to settle down a little bit."
The Sun Devils (2-0) will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Sophomore Darin Gillies (5.03 ERA last season) will be taking the mound for ASU to face off against Bethune-Cookman's Scott Garner.
- After a decent enough start Friday, the Devils' defense looked awful shaky in Day 2 of the series. ASU racked up four errors in the early going but were luckily bailed out by Bethune-Cookman totaling four of their own. While some may be a bit concerned after the showing today, Graybill was confident that they'll grow out of it quickly: "Once everyone gets settled in and relaxed, I think it's going to get a lot better."
- Junior center fielder Kasey Coffman is off to a blazing hot start and is already showing some huge strides at the plate from last season. Through two games, the speedster has racked up three runs, three RBI, two stolen bases and one triple while going 5-for-7 at the dish. Not bad for a guy who hit .234 last season.
- Credit the State Press' Danny Shapiro for this tidbit but the Devils have been able to get some serious production out of the nine hole to start the season. Left fielder Jake Peevyhouse followed up Drew Stankiewicz' 3-for-5 Friday performance with two more hits from the bottom of the lineup Saturday. Not every manager gets the luxury of basically working with two leadoff hitters so Esmay has to hope those numbers keep up.