Freshman outfielder Myles Denson is trying to make good on the early opportunities he receives in his Sun Devil career. Even if he says he’s not sure how often they’ll come.
“I gotta come in and do my work and you know, whenever I’m ready, or whenever they’re ready to put me in, then I guess I’ll get in there,” he said during Tuesday’s practice.
The Las Vegas (Nev.) native found himself thrust into the Sun Devils’ starting lineup, patrolling the right field during Arizona State’s season-opening win over Northwestern on Friday. Denson went 0-for-3 in his collegiate debut, and didn’t see the field in the second matchup of the doubleheader.
He did, however, start Saturday’s series-concluding matchup in right field again, and didn’t let his slow start on Friday deter him.
With the Sun Devils trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Denson stepped up to bat with two outs and Jeremy McCuin on third, 90 feet away from evening the score.
Denson worked Northwestern’s Matt Gannon into a 3-1 count, before taking an offering back through the middle of the infield, logging his first-career hit and RBI on the single to tie the game, 1-1.
Denson had credited his teammates during the week for his growing comfort.
“I know that everybody helps each other out,” he said. “At least, I know as far as my experience here, I’ve been helped out immensely by a lot of the older guys. That’s what’s helped me personally.”
Throughout head coach Tracy Smith’s tenure as ASU’s skipper, it’s taken plenty of complete team efforts for the Sun Devils to capture close victories. The unity of the players has been at the very heart of it all, and Denson says it’s resonating amongst this year’s group, both personally and for the team as a whole.
“It really has been almost everybody that’s helped me out in some way or another,” he said. “I’m sure thankful for a lot of the help from the older guys, younger guys. It’s pretty much everybody.”
A little over two games into the season, and it appears the openness of this unit is going to pay dividends throughout the season. In the interim, they hope it leads to a season-opening sweep when play resumes Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Mountain Time, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.