Going for the series sweep on Sunday afternoon, Arizona State (8-2) threw eight different pitchers who combined for a shutout in their 5-0 win over Utah (1-8).
A Bevy of Bullpen arms
Before the weekend, ASU head coach Tracy Smith announced that pitchers Cooper Benson and Boyd Vander Kooi would be out for the rest of the season with impending Tommy John surgery.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for some new guys to get out there and go grab some roles,” Smith said after using four bullpen arms in Friday night’s win. “Because we are going to have to have two to three guys come along…to close that gap in losing those innings.”
Of the eight pitchers who threw on Sunday, six of them made their first appearance of the season, including freshman Seth Tomczak, who started for ASU. Will Levine threw the most (2.2 innings) and picked up the win.
Jared Glenn, Brady Corrigan, Joe Hauser, Nick Wallerstedt, Cam Dennie and Bryce Barnett all made an appearance out of the pen as well. Arizona State pitchers combined for nine strikeouts, four walks, and only allowed five hits (three by Tomczak and two by Wallerstedt).
“Every guy in the dugout and the bullpen has been working really hard for this,” Levine said of the combined effort. “It was good to see everyone succeed today.”
We you @Will_Levine4!— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 7, 2021
Out here dottin' em up, sitting low to mid 90s and throwing tons of strikes.
He's retired 5 Utes with just 12 pitches so far. That'll play.
1-0, Devils, M4. pic.twitter.com/i9MZgm55LA
It is easier to pitch and attack the zone when you have the lead. Arizona State struck first at the start of the game and did not look back from there.
Singles by Drew Swift and Hunter Jump in the bottom of the first set up an Ethan Long sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game in favor of the Sun Devils.
The bottom of the fifth inning, however, is when Arizona State broke the game open.
Joe Lampe continued to start the season hot from the nine-hole. The sophomore went 2-3 with a stolen base and a run scored on an RBI-single from Hunter Haas.
Haas scored later that inning off an Ethan Long single to left, picking up his second RBI of the day. Long, who also has three saves on the young season, has been productive at the plate as well. He has hit 5-10 (.500) in three appearances in the batting order.
“Whatever the coaches need me to do, I want to get that job done,” Long said. “Everybody helps me out with both pitching and hitting. Then you have coaches that help you out like that, it’s pretty easy to switch from one role to another.”
Long later scored on an RBI single by a pinch-hitting Jack Moss, and Sean McLain scored on a wild pitch before Utah’s nightmare inning came to a close.
series sweep stats #O2V pic.twitter.com/9sqxeVFZYc— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 7, 2021
“We got to drop our little ‘small ball’ verbiage,” Smith said. “Because what I would call it, honestly, is good baseball.”
The Sun Devils will look to continue playing “good baseball” next weekend when a three-game series against Cal State Fullerton starts on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. local time.