A dominant performance from Sun Devils’ (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12) starting pitcher Eli Lingos helped ASU defeat Northwestern 3-1 in the first game of the season in Tempe on Friday afternoon.
The junior from Temecula, Calif. navigated his way through 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing just three hits to capture his first victory of the season.
Both teams struggled offensively through the first three frames, producing just two hits between the two programs.
Northwestern starting pitcher Joe Schindler struggled to locate his pitches in the bottom of the fourth, and the Sun Devils took advantage to score their first runs of the season.
Junior Andrew Snow singled up the middle and advanced to second on a walk drawn by junior left-fielder Ryan Lillard, giving freshman first-basemen Lyle Lin a chance with runners in scoring position. The Tapei, Taiwan native doubled deep into the right field gap, scoring both Lillard and Andrew Snow en route to giving ASU a 2-0 lead.
The Sun Devils’ bats came alive over the next few frames, forcing Northwestern head coach Spencer Allen to make three moves to the bullpen in just two innings.
Freshman catcher Sam Ferri singled into right field to start out the bottom of the seventh, and advanced to second and third courtesy of back-to-back wild pitches from Northwestern reliever Pete Hofman.
ASU junior third baseman Andrew Snow then stepped to the plate and singled through the right side of the infield, scoring freshman Ferri and expanding the Arizona State lead to three.
Sun Devil left-hander Reagan Todd kept the Wildcats in check during his relief appearance, allowing zero hits and only one baserunner through 1 1/3 innings.
Arizona State closer Eder Erives took the mound in the ninth and loaded the bases before ASU head coach Tracy Smith brought in freshman left-hander Chaz Montoya to get the Devils out of trouble.
The Glendale native walked in a run, then struck out NU senior Jake Schieber and freshman Nick Paciorek to give the Sun Devils their first win of the season by a score of 3-1.
The second half of Friday’s doubleheader between Northwestern and Arizona State begins at 6:30 p.m. MST. Junior right-hander Ryan Hingst will be on the mound for the Sun Devils and freshman Hank Christie will pitch for the Wildcats.