In a year where positives have been few and far between for Arizona State baseball, the Sun Devils have to be feeling those good vibes with their 5-3 win over Washington on Saturday.
Contrary to their big performance at the plate on Friday, ASU (11-13, 3-2 Pac-12) clinched their first series-victory in conference play by defeating the Huskies (12-10, 4-4) via strong pitching.
Following up a masterful seven-inning, nine strikeout performance against sixth-ranked Oregon State last Sunday, sophomore right-hander Tyler Meyer returned to the bump this time as the Saturday starter and picked up where he left off with another quality start.
Meyer rode his breaking stuff through seven innings of work, in which he rang up four Huskies and surrendered just two earned runs on five knocks.
Meyer’s efficiency was arguably his strongest asset today as he hurled just 76 pitches through his outing, holding his counts to single digits in the third and seventh innings.
Stiff resistance to Meyer’s electric day came from the bat of Washington’s Coby Morales, who singled off of Meyer in the second and came around to score later in the inning as well as a home run in the fourth that ticked off of Joe Lampe’s outstretched glove in center field.
Even with the lucky break, Washington mustered just two hits off of Meyer for the rest of the day. Although they were able to cut the deficit in the ninth with an opposite-field home run courtesy of a Will Simpson, Brock Peery was able to shut the door behind Will Levine’s setup work to finish off the victory and secure his team-leading fourth save of the season.
While the arms were the story of the day for the Sun Devils, the bats, while not as explosive as Friday, packed enough punch to back the stellar day on the mound. Conor Davis got the gang going in the bottom of the second, depositing a changeup into the left-field bullpen to tie the score at 1.
Staying hot, star sophomore Ethan Long ripped an RBI single in the third to take the lead, which would couple with his single in the seventh to record his third straight multi-hit game. Matching his two hits, Long added a second RBI on the day with a sacrifice fly in the fifth that gave ASU the lead the rest of the way.
Jacob Tobias cashed in on his pinch-hit appearance to drive in a run in the seventh while Joe Lampe redeemed himself for the tip-drill homer off his glove with a double in the eighth to seal the game for the Sun Devils.
With the victory, ASU clinched their first Pac-12 series victory and pushed their conference record to 3-2, while they inch closer to .500 overall at 11-13. The Sun Devils will look to complete their second sweep of the season on Sunday, with Adam Tulloch likely getting the ball at Phoenix Muni with the first pitch scheduled for noon MST.