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ASU Baseball: Fall, Long lead Sun Devils to a comeback victory over Cal

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Minor setback for a major comeback

Richard Martinez/House of Sparky

Ethan Long ended his 11-game hitting streak and 14-game reached base streak during Friday night’s loss after an 0-for-4 showing at the plate.

The freshman got his first start in right field on Saturday night, and definitely found his rhythm at the plate again in Arizona State’s 6-3 win over California (24-20, 10-10 Pac-12).

Junior right-hander Sean Sullivan got the start for the Golden Bears. In his team-high 12th start of the year, Sullivan was cruising through the first 3.2 innings.

He held the Sun Devils (26-15, 11-9) hitless until Sean McLain tee’d off on one, sending a solo homer over the left field wall.

Sullivan sat down seven more Sun Devils in order with the score at 3-1. Then Hunter Jump drew a walk in the top of the seventh, becoming ASU’s first real baserunner of the game.

Two batters later, Ethan Long provided the Sun Devils their second hit of the contest with a two-run dinger to left, tying up the ballgame.

Cal replaced Sullivan after he surpassed 99 pitches with two outs in the eighth and a runner on first after a walk.

Shortstop Drew Swift did not waste any time jumping on the fresh arm out of the bullpen. On the second pitch he saw, Swift sent a liner to left-center that brought around the blazing fast Joe Lampe to give ASU its first lead of the game.

Long expanded on the Sun Devil lead with another homer in the top of the ninth, surpassing Barry Bonds for the second-most homers by a freshman in school history (now at 12).

Spencer Torkelson sits at number one, with 25 long balls back in 2018, but it was very fitting how it came just a short drive from where Bonds hit homers for a living.

Long, the reigning back-to-back Pac-12 player of the week, has homered 10 times in his last eight games, launching him into the conversation of Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and NCAA Freshman of the Year according to some outlets, but he was not the lone star on Saturday.

The Golden Bears started off right where they left off on Friday night. They held an early 2-0 advantage after a pickoff attempt and throwing error by first baseman Jack Moss and a weird single to the right side of the infield.

Midway through the third inning, trainers had to visit with ASU starter Justin Fall after an awkward collision at first base when Fall was trying to cover the bag on a grounder to first.

Fall threw one more pitch that allowed Sam Ferri to catch a runner stealing to end the frame.

Fall returned for the following six innings, allowing one more run and setting down 16 of the last 17 Golden Bears he faced.

He ended the complete game with a career-high 133 pitches, with five strikeouts and four walks, becoming the first ASU starter to throw seven or more innings this season.

With the win on Saturday, ASU is now one game ahead of Cal in the Pac-12 standings for sixth place. The Mother’s Day rubber match will be played at 1:05 p.m. local time.