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ASU Baseball: Adam Tulloch wins Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week

13-strikeout performance propels Tulloch to first weekly award of the season

Zac BonDurant

Propelled by a dominant 13-strikeout performance in Friday’s series-opening win against the University of San Francisco, Adam Tulloch was named Pac-12 pitcher of the week for the week of March 14, the conference announced on Monday.

Tulloch becomes the first ASU player to win a weekly conference award this year. He allowed three runs over seven innings while giving up zero walks to go along with his 13 punchouts — the most by a Sun Devil starter since 2010 — against USF. Both Tulloch and head coach Willie Bloomquist said afterwards that they believe the lefthander’s ceiling is even higher because he was pitching with some fatigue from the long bus ride back to Arizona after an extra-inning Wednesday loss at University of California Irvine.

“Fastball command is huge for him,” Bloomquist said after the Sun Devils beat USF 8-5 on Friday. “I don’t want to sound bad, [but] I don’t think he had his best stuff tonight... his fastball, although it was 90, 91, 92 [mph] it didn’t have the same life that it has had in the past couple of games.”

The 102-pitch outing counts as Tulloch’s longest start of the season to date, and Bloomquist revealed postgame that Tulloch would have gone back out for the eighth inning had Ethan Long’s grand slam not given the Sun Devils a five-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. ASU’s regular Friday starter and de facto ace believes he’s settling more into that role as the season goes on.

“I’ve found when I got ahead and I’m getting that 1-2, 0-2, even 0-1 counts, I’m very effective,” Tulloch said on Friday. “You ahead, you can do a lot of things. You can throw a lot of different pitches in a lot of different counts and it starts with fastball command.”

Tulloch is 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA over 25 innings pitched this season, and has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 35-6. He’s slated to take the ball when the Sun Devils open conference play at Oregon State this weekend.

Joe Lampe was also nominated for player of the week but lost out to Arizona’s Daniel Susac.