PHOENIX - Sometimes the biggest hit of your life comes in a Hollywood manner. If you’re lucky, it’ll come against a rival.
Nu’u Contrades spent a the better half of ten minutes in the on-deck circle before his third at-bat Saturday night. Umpires were reviewing a hit-by-pitch on Wyatt Crenshaw the play earlier, then when it was confirmed, Arizona (13-8, 3-5 Pac-12) took a mound visit. Time moved slowly for Arizona State (14-8, 4-1 Pac-12).
Contrades had enough of the waiting around. After a strike, he launched a three-run shot for ASU’s first lead of the night. They went into the inning trailing 3-1, and they left leading 6-3. The Sun Devils would hold the lead, and win 7-4.
“I think that was the biggest hit of my life so far,” Contrades said.
THREE. RUN. NUUKE.— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 26, 2023
DEVILS ON TOP, 6-3.https://t.co/cwc9Tpq6rd pic.twitter.com/wobsoZ79fp
Contrades previously put ASU on the board with an RBI-double to score Trey Newman, who also doubled, in his second at bat. He added insurance in the eighth inning with his second run-scoring double of the evening. For the second night in-a-row, one ASU hitter accounted for over 70% of all Sun Devil runs.
Including Saturday’s game, Contrades is 13-for-30 in the last six games.
ARE NU'U KIDDING ME!?!?!— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) March 26, 2023
This kid @nuucontrades is unreal. RBI double for some insurance.
7-4, Devils. https://t.co/cwc9Tpq6rd pic.twitter.com/HhuuDRobtF
Righty Khristian Curtis received his sixth start of the season, and it was arguably his best since his debut against SDSU. In five complete innings of work, Curtis allowed three earned-runs on six hits while walking two batters and striking out five. He received a no-decision, but also dropped his ERA by nearly half-a-point (7.71 to 7.27).
“This was a step in the right direction for him tonight,” coach Willie Bloomquist said. “I think we all know he’s got a little bit more in the tank.”
Nolan Lebamoff (3.24 ERA) and Jesse Wainscott (6.75 ERA) each threw a shutout, hitless inning of relief. Lebamoff recorded the win, and he’s now 2-0 on the season.
Owen Stevenson (6.55 ERA) allowed just one run and collected his first save of the season.
“This is what it’s supposed to be about,” Bloomquist said. “It’s supposed to matter. It’s supposed to be fun.”
ASU won its second series to open Pac-12 play with Saturday’s win. It’s the Sun Devils’ first series-victory over Arizona since 2019. The Sun Devils can take the sweep Sunday at 4 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.