The Arizona State baseball team believed all season it had some of the best players in the conference sitting in their clubhouse. On Thursday, voters for the Pac-12 regular season awards agreed.
Ethan Long and Drew Swift were named All-Pac-12 first team selections.
Long finished with a scorching-hot second half of the season to become the best freshman baseball player in Tempe since Spencer Torkelson. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper also named him a second team All-American.
Swift, the best two-way player on the team, also collected Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The rangy infielder moved from second base over to shortstop this season, but didn’t miss a step as he led a trio of freshmen to become a defensive infield ground balls rarely exited.
The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is a Sun Devil.— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) June 3, 2021
Congratulations, @swiftyy23! pic.twitter.com/dhytf83Pjf
In total, four Sun Devils made all-conference honors, with Nate Baez and Sean McLain also being named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team.
Baez became a fixture behind the plate on defense and a regular in the Sun Devil lineup in the latter half of the season. The stability in playing time allowed him to find his groove and become one of the team’s most consistent hitters during that stretch.
McLain’s bat may have cooled off later in the year, but he was still behind one of the most consistent hitting displays anyone in an ASU uniform has put on this century.
Anybody that goes for a 23-game hit streak should almost be guaranteed a spot on the first or second team, and McLain got his due.
Swift wasn’t the only glove recognized on this Sun Devil team too, as Hunter Haas and Joe Lampe joined their shortstop as members of the Pac-12 All-Defense team.
Haas finished his season with just five errors on 138 chances, which was one of the best fielding percentages in the nation with a minimum of 100 attempts (.964).
Congratulations to our All-Conference selections! #O2V pic.twitter.com/FnNktdec7q— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) June 3, 2021
The young, and now decorated Sun Devils are off to Austin this week for their regional. If the team can defeat Fairfield on Friday night, and Texas wins its opening game against Southern, then a Saturday matchup with the nation’s second-ranked Longhorns looms.
ASU will require an All-Pac-12 effort on offense and defense to advance out of this tough regional.