Powered by a four-hit night from Andrew Snow and a three-hit performance from freshman Lyle Lin, the Arizona State Sun Devils blitzed through the New Mexico State Aggies pitching staff en route to a 10-5 win.
The victory in Tuesday’s game ups the Sun Devils’ record to 5-3 as they kick off a 12-game home stand.
Arizona State won despite starter Zach Dixon’s struggles, as he labored through 1.2 innings and walked five Aggies.
“He’s struggled throwing strikes, even this past weekend against TCU we felt like too many free passes and that continued today. That stuff has to turn around,” coach Tracy Smith said. “It gets better and better as we get closer to conference season in terms of our midweek opponents.”
The Sun Devils found themselves in muddy water early, as Dixon walked a pair of batters in the first inning before working his way out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts. But Dixon’s control issues lingered into the second inning, and his bases-loaded walk in the second inning spelled the end of his evening, as Smith pulled the sophomore for Fitz Stadler.
Stadler escaped the second inning without allowing any more runs, and the Aggies left the bases full as they took a slim 1-0 lead headed to the latter half of the second inning.
It wasn’t until the fourth that the Maroon and Gold bats heated up, as Ryan Lillard’s single advanced Carter Aldrede to third base to set Taylor Lane up with a prime opportunity to erase the one-run deficit. New Mexico State got Lane to strike out swinging, but the Aggies weren’t able to get the No. 9 hitter in the Sun Devil lineup out, as senior Zach Cerbo laced a single up the middle to take a 2-1 lead.
Andrew Snow added a double later in the inning to push home two more runs and ASU held a 4-1 lead headed into the fifth inning.
The fifth and sixth innings saw Smith’s club stretch its lead, as the middle of the order continued to wreak havoc on the Aggies’ pitching staff. A fielder’s choice run and sacrifice fly pushed ASU’s lead to 6-1 through five innings, and the Sun Devils tacked three more runs on in the sixth inning to take a commanding 9-3 lead.
Lin - a freshman from Taiwan - collected his 14th, 15th and 16th hits on the young season, putting him at an eye-popping 16-35 clip. His two RBI’s and two runs scored in Tuesday’s game were simply a continuation of the strong start Lin’s had to his time as a Sun Devil.
“He does a really good job of keeping the barrel in the zone, and for a young guy that’s really impressive,” coach Smith said. “I think he does a really good job of not committing on the off-speed stuff, he sits back very well. What makes him a little different from a lot of young hitters is he keeps the barrel in the zone for a very long time.”
The Sun Devils will take a couple of days to rest before returning to Phoenix Muni on Friday for the first game in a three-game series against Loyola Marymount.