They lost five in-a-row, but now they’ve won six-straight games. Arizona State (12-7, 2-0 Pac-12) is the definition of streaky on the diamond.
The Sun Devils clinched a series-victory over Utah (7-11, 1-4 Pac-12) with back-to-back wins to start the series.
Game One, 9-7 ASU
ASU found itself in an early hole when they trailed 4-1 by the end of the first inning Friday. All four runs came with ace Ross Dunn on the mound, but none of the runs were charged to Dunn, as they were unearned. Dunn struck out seven hitters in 5.1 innings of work.
The Sun Devils exploded for six runs combined in the third and fourth innings. They took a 7-4 lead and never looked back .
Catcher Ryan Campos, second-baseman Luke Keaschall and third-baseman Nu’u Contrades all collected three hits each in the win. This group combined to bat 33-of-48 (.688) with 23 of the team’s 45 RBI in a five-game span. Each homered twice, while Keaschall doubled four times, and the other duo has two doubles each for a 1.229 slugging percentage.
Keaschall homered, and Contrades doubled twice. They took a 9-4 lead into the eighth inning.
Closer Jesse Wainscott allowed one of those runs, but earned his second save of the season, and the Devils won 9-7.
Game Two, 15-9 ASU
Three players swung for multi-hit games in the series-opener. That number doubled in Saturday’s matchup. Six Sun Devils recorded two hits or more, including outfielder Kien Vu who entered for Wyatt Crenshaw (3-for-5, 3 RBI) later in the game.
Keaschall and Crenshaw both homered. Contrades reached safely four times in an impressive 4-for-6, 3 RBI performance. Keaschall also had four hita.
After leading 13-9 going into the eighth inning, ASU improved to 11-0 in games where it is leading after seven innings.
Righty reliever Matt Tieding earned the win after tossing three innings of scoreless ball out of the bullpen. On the season, Tieding is 2-0 in-relief with a 2.30 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .185. Owen Stevenson threw three innings of no-run ball while striking out three Utes and allowing no hits.
The Sun Devils can sweep Utah with a win Sunday. First-pitch is at 12 p.m. AZ time Sunday in Salt Lake City.