Following a big win against No. 2 Arkansas on Thursday, the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-2) took the field for game two of the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium and blew out the Pacific Tigers (3-5) by a score of 8-1. The Devils sent their ace Trevor Williams to the mound (2-0, 1.29), where he threw for all nine innings, allowed one run and had 9 strikeouts. He has allowed just 3 earned runs in 21 innings pitched this season.
"It was definitely great," Williams said of his performance. "We are getting on a roll right now as a team. We had a great win last night and another great win tonight. We just have to keep rolling through this whole weekend."
The Devils had a great start to the game with junior Kasey Coffman hitting a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning where he eventually scored from. Catcher Max Rossiter followed that with a double of his own, but was unable to reach home plate as the Devils led 1-0 after the first.
ASU continued their scoring barrage in the second as outfielder Jake Peevyhouse got his first RBI on the season with a base hit to right field, knocking Michael Benjamin in from third. The 2-0 lead was nice, but the Devils would expand their lead in the fourth inning.
Freshman David Graybill, who took over at first base for Rouric Bridgewater on Friday, Kasey Coffman, Drew Stankiewicz and James McDonald each recorded an RBI (Graybill had two) in the bottom of the fourth as ASU blew the game wide open, taking a 7-0 lead over Pacific.
While Williams threw an excellent game, it was the offense behind him that buried the Tigers.
"That's Sun Devils baseball," Williams said of the offensive output. "We played early, we played, team baseball and then we have the explosion for five runs. It was a great show for us as a team."
Jake Peevyhouse was a strong contributor on offense, grabbing two hits and a run while recording his first RBI of the season, breaking out of a massive slump.
"It felt good, it felt good to finally have some good at-bats under my belt," Peevyhouse said.
The gravy train kept rolling for Williams as he gave up no hits from the fourth inning until the seventh, where he allowed a single to Tyger Pederson. To counter, ASU added yet another run after Graybill scored teammate Kyle Bilbrey in the bottom of the 7th. From there, Williams allowed two runners in the ninth and an eventual run, which ended the shutout, but hardly takes away from his terrific outing. His speedy pitching and strikeout ability allowed the game to last just 2 hours exactly.
"Two hours is hard to believe with that five run inning, but then again, I was out there for, like, 30 seconds for three innings in a row," Williams said. "It's definitely cool. They (the fans) don't hate baseball after four hours. I'm just a quick worker. It puts the hitters on their heels. I like taking control and being aggressive."
"He didn't even reach 100 pitches in a complete game," Coach Esmay said of his star pitcher. "We got a lot of first pitch outs, but like I said, we also made a lot of nice plays behind him to allow him to not have to pitch a lot more with runners on base. Very efficient."
Also of note is that head coach Tim Esmay racked up his 350th career win and his 137th as coach of the Sun Devils. Before the press notified him that he had done so, he had no idea of his accomplishment.
"It just says that I've been coaching a while," Esmay joked. "It's neat. It's cool. Obviously I enjoy doing what I'm doing. I didn't even realize it before you guys brought it up, so that just kind of tells you how I try to live in the moment and game by game too. But yeah, I'm proud of it."
The Devils will take on Arkansas tomorrow in the third game of the Coca-Cola Classic. ASU previously defeated the Razorbacks on Thursday behind the arm of Brett Lilek. Tomorrow, they will send freshman Ryan Kellogg to the mound, who is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA.
"It should be another great ball game," Esmay said. "That's a really good team over there. We are throwing a freshman on the mound over there again tomorrow. Hopefully he has the same type of outing that he did last week against Tennessee. It's going to be a challenge for us."