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ASU Baseball: Devils cruise past San Diego in midweek matchup

12 more runs for ASU

Richard Martinez/ House of Sparky

It may have taken till the fifth inning, but the Sun Devil bats continued where they left off from the weekend. With an eight-run fifth inning, Arizona State (4-0) downed the San Diego Toreros (4-1) 12-2 on Wednesday.

The Sun Devils only produced two hits through the game’s first four innings. That all changed in the fifth. The reigning NCAA Division I home run leader and current Pac-12 Player of the Week, sophomore first baseman Spencer Torkelson highlighted the frame with his first dinger of the season. His three-run shot extended ASU’s lead to 10.

“It felt really good,” said Torkelson on getting the first home run out of the way. “Everyone was giving me a hard time about it. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

The long ball wasn’t the forefront of ASU’s fourth straight 10-run contest. Rather, it was two-out hitting. All eight runs in the fifth inning came with two outs, in total, nine of ASU’s 12 runs were with them down to their last out of the inning.

“I didn’t even know we had two outs, it didn’t even feel like it,” Torkelson said. “Sometimes when you get two outs, people kind of check out and be like this might be the last out. But we were a train and kept rolling.”

The ASU fifth started with the bases loaded and no outs. However, Torkelson tried to tag up on a fly out, he was gunned down for a double play. With the Toreros a strike away from getting out of the jam unharmed, it looked like the Sun Devils were about to waste a huge opportunity. Sophomore third baseman Gage Workman instead optioned to start the big inning for ASU. He singled to the right side, that drove in the first two runs. Workman’s hit would be the first of six straight hits for the Sun Devils that netted them eight runs.

“If they get out of that inning, you are talking a big momentum swing,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “It was Workman that got the hit — that was huge. That game to me, that at-bat, that’s a big emotional thing from their standpoint.”

One of those six hits was sophomore shortstop Drew Swift’s RBI double. Swift went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, he also had three doubles on Wednesday, which surpassed his entire total of two doubles in 2018. Two of Swift’s RBIs also came with two outs.

“The nerves calmed down a little bit after the first series and I really feel comfortable up there,” Swift said. “We’ve been working, me and [hitting coach] Mike [Earley] and it’s really paid off.”

Freshman outfielder Dusty Garcia replaced junior right fielder Carter Aldrete in the seventh inning. Garcia later got his first collegiate hit with a double in the bottom half of the inning. Although, cause for concern came as Aldrete did show a limp after he ran out an infield single the inning before. Smith closed the concern saying Aldrete just cramped up a bit.

ASU has now scored 58 runs in their four wins to start the season.

“I feel like there’s no easy out in our lineup,” Torkelson said. “We’re really hot right now as a team, it’s only been four games so I can’t speak for the whole year, but there’s no easy out. And everyone has a good approach right now, it feels really good. It gives our pitching staff a lot of confidence too.”

It was speculated headed into the midweek contest that either sophomore righty Brady Corrigan or freshman lefty Erik Tolman would get the start. Neither did, senior right-handed pitcher Sam Romero started on the bump. Romero made a handful of starts last season for ASU, but had only work an inning thus far this season. He lasted just 1 23 innings, but didn’t allow a run thanks to a clutch strike out from junior lefty Chaz Montoya. Corrigan did come into the game and delivered 2 23 innings of one-hit ball for ASU.

The Sun Devils will look to keep it going on Friday at 6:30 p.m. when they begin their three-game series with UC Davis. Junior right-handed pitcher Alec Marsh will return to the mound after a 10-strikeout performance on opening night.