Ten appears to be the magic number for Arizona State. In their first seven games, the Sun Devils have produced 10 or more runs in six of them. A 17-2 win over UC Davis (3-4) on Sunday strengthened that trend.
Arizona State now sits with a 7-0 record to begin 2019, the first time since 2010 when they won 24-straight.
“I think these scores are a result of guys staying locked in,” ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. “If our pitchers continue to stay healthy and we continue to throw strikes and we play defense the way we’re playing defense, I don’t think it matters who we’re playing. I’m not going to say we’re going to go out and steamroll people but I think we’ll always be in a position to win a game based on our pitching and defense.”
Through the first three innings, ASU had 13 runs off of 12 hits. The Aggies were blanked in both categories in that same time frame.
With the bases loaded, sophomore left fielder Trevor Hauver exploded early with a bases-clearing double making it 9-0 ASU. Lyle Lin, Carter Aldrete and Gage Workman later followed with RBIs of their own totaling eight runs in the third.
Hauver then followed up with his first career home run in the fourth inning, a three-run bullet over the right field fence that jumped ASU ahead 16-0.
“It was super exciting for me because I’ve worked so hard to get to this point from last season to this season.” Hauver said. “I’m just happy it’s paying off.”
Hauver mentioned that he had made an adjustment coming into this week where he established more rhythm with his hands. It showed as Hauver finished the series against UC Davis 7-for-13 with six runs and eight RBIs. Opening weekend, Hauver went 2-for-8 with six runs and eight walks.
“He can also hit. He’s not up there just looking for a walk. The kid can swing the bat,” Smith said. “What else can you ask for out of a leadoff guy who scores four runs and gets seven RBI and draws walks? Very, very productive day from him.”
“It’s pretty incredible what we have here as a team as an offense,” Hauver said. “One through nine, I believe can just hit with anyone out there. I believe that we have one of the top offenses in the country.”
Starting pitching complemented the Sun Devils offense.
RJ Dabovich excelled on the mound giving up only four hits through seven innings pitched and striking out three. He consistently hovered 88-92 mph with his fastball through his start slinging in 54 strikes out of 78 pitches total.
“I think everyone’s mindset is the same,” Dabovich said. “Just attack hitters and go right after them. We have a great defense right behind us.”
Dabovich said that he felt significantly better today than his previous start in which he gave up 4 hits, three earned runs and five walks through five innings pitched against Notre Dame.
It’s no question that the bats are the talk of ASU baseball currently but the starting pitching is overshadowed with a team ERA of 2.71 and 62 strikeouts through the first seven games.
“I don’t care really that there is a lot of coverage on them (offense). I mean they deserve it,” Dabovich said. “I could care less who gets the recognition as long as we’re winning.”