Saturday night in Sun Devils’s win over the Eagles, Spencer Torkelson was intentionally walked for the seventh time. He was followed by a Trevor Hauver two-RBI single, which coach Tracy Smith called “the biggest hit of the night.”
Boston College (3-4) clearly didn’t learn their lesson on Sunday afternoon.
Arizona State (5-3) prevailed 8-4 to earn the series sweep over BC, adding on much needed insurance while only up a run in the sixth frame.
For the eighth time on the year, Torkelson, maybe the nation’s best hitter, was given the free ride to first on an intentional walk. Boston College decided they would rather again pitch to Hauver, who statistically, was the third strongest bat on the club last season behind Torkelson and 10th overall pick Hunter Bishop. Hauver again made them pay.
“Trevor Hauver is a good hitter and we put him there for a reason,” Smith said. “We did not waiver our confidence in him and what he was going to be able to do.”
The left fielder scorched a two-run missile to right-center to put the Devils up 7-4, recording his second home run of the year.
“Obviously Tork is the best hitter in the country, no doubt about it, so it won’t be the last time (that he gets intentionally walked),” Hauver said. “This year being the three-hole hitter I’m behind him now is to drive some runners in and he’s going to be on base a lot.”
Hauver admitted that he takes a little bit of disrespect from seeing Torkelson getting put on ahead of him all the time.
“Obviously it makes you a little mad, obviously you try to keep your emotions” Hauver said with a grin. “Just trying to do my job, put the ball in play, makes things happen.
He also described how amped up he was after seeing the ball leave the yard.
“I was fired up man, I was so happy,” said Hauver with an ear-to-ear smile. “Just knowing that my swings have been a lot better, I was just super excited.”
The came the bottom of the eighth. Torkelson to the plate with nobody on, two outs, Hauver waiting on deck. BC skipper Marty Gambino had seen enough of Hauver. He decided to go to the bullpen, bringing in right-hander Michael Marzonie to face the Preseason National Player of the Year.
That didn’t go well for the Eagles.
Torkelson unloaded, demolishing a solo blast to right-center field to give the Devils the four-run cushion, ultimately staying that way.
“I would bet (Hauver’s success) to a little bit of their decision to go ahead and pitch to Tork,” Smith said. “When Trevor is doing what he is supposed to do, that’s what’s going to happen is they’re going to have to pitch to him.”
Torkelson referenced how much he enjoys watching the rest of his team thrive with the bats.
“That almost feels better than myself hitting a home run because they kind of learn their lesson,” he said. “I thought they learned their lesson last night and then they do it again and Trevor did it again so that was really fun.”
This is the blueprint to the success of the ASU offense for the entirety of 2020. When Hauver gets going behind Torkelson, and when Alika Williams and Gage Workman start to hit their stride, there is no way to pitch around the Sun Devils first baseman.
“They’ve done a good job getting guys to buy in, (understanding) that everybody is not Torkelson,” Smith said.
“They’re close,” he added when mentioning Williams and Workman getting hot. “Alika struck the ball much harder today, had some really god at-bats.”
Starter Justin Fall lasted just four innings on Sunday, allowing four earned runs on six hits. Last week he carried the Devils to an opening night win. Sunday, the offense picked him up.
The Devils will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night as the welcome in New Mexico State for a midweek showdown.