By the time the sixth inning came around in Starkville, Mississippi, conversation from the announcers on SEC+ shifted from the action at-hand to mercy rules, precipitation and extensive Cactus League talks. The 13-0 ASU lead left little to talk about.
The Sun Devils (5-0) would hold on for a 13-4 win over Mississippi State (3-3) Friday evening.
Second baseman Luke Keaschall (2-for-5) opened the scoring immediately with a leadoff-home run, his second homer of the season. Both of Keaschall’s long-balls were in his first at-bat of the game.
Making it look Keaschy pic.twitter.com/lyJmqFrN7A— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) February 24, 2023
Also in the first inning, right-fielder Wyatt Crenshaw (3-for-5, 2 RBI) walked, catcher Ryan Campos (1-for-3) singled, and they both scored to extend the ASU-lead to 3-0 before the Bulldogs took their first swings.
Crenshaw added insurance in the second inning with his second homer of the season, a two-run shot that scored third-baseman Nu’u Contrades (1-for-3, 2 BB) for a 5-0 lead.
In the fourth and fifth innings, the Sun Devils added eight more runs for a 13-0 deficit that proved too large for Mississippi State. Four of the eight runs came off the bat of designated-hitter Jacob Tobias (2-for-4, 2 BB).
BASES. CLEARING. TRIPLE.— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) February 24, 2023
Toby takes advantage of a wicked hop for his second career three-bagger.
Lucky Number 1️⃣3️⃣-0️⃣ midway through the 5th. pic.twitter.com/Ta9zrzaoGj
Head coach Willie Bloomquist and pitching coach Sam Peraza spoke at-length this offseason about the work that they had to do in the transfer portal to build a pitching staff. Through five games, their work is starting to pay off. The ASU starting rotation is yet to allow a run through 20 innings of work.
Lefty Ross Dunn made his second start of the season Friday. Dunn, who threw three shutout innings in the season-opener, continued his strong start with 3.2 innings of scoreless work against Mississippi State. He struck out four hitters, and allowed just two hits and one walk.
In the fourth inning, Dunn allowed a pair of baserunners before Bloomquist pulled him mid-inning. Veteran righty Brock Peery stranded the runners and recorded the final out to continue ASU’s scoreless-innings streak from the starters.
San Francisco-transfer Owen Stevenson allowed all four Bulldog runs in four innings of work. Stevenson allowed four hits and walked four, while striking out three. Right-hander Jonah Giblin allowed just one hit and no runs in two innings to close the game.