Sun Devil Baseball Records Second-Straight Shutout-By-Committee in Rout
PHOENIX -- There was a little bit of everything as the No. 15 Sun Devil baseball team recorded its second straight shutout-by-committee behind a season-high 10 runs and three long balls to down Cal State Fullerton, 10-0, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday night.
Hunter Jump, Sean McLain and Allbry Major all went yard for the Sun Devils on the evening as ASU recorded its highest run output of the season.
Major was 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Joe Lampe added a solid 3-for-4 day that included an RBI and two runs - one of which coming on an incredible display of speed as he scored on a sacrifice fly from second base. Kai Murphy also notched a multi-hit effort with two runs scored.
The Sun Devil bullpen did everything else. For the second straight game, the Devils got a solid two-plus innings out of Seth Tomczak in the start before handing the ball off to Will Levine, who earned his second straight win behind 2.1 innings of no-hit baseball with three strikeouts.
Brady Corrigan, Brock Peery, Dom Cacchione and Alexander Ogg got in on the rest of the action with Ogg making his Sun Devil debut to get the final out while Cacchione made his 2021 debut as the total group held Fullerton to just four hits with seven strikeouts to two walks.
The Sun Devils are now winners of seven straight games.
Going up against Cal State Fullerton ace Tanner Bibee, it was expected to be a low scoring affair with Bibee entering the game with a 0.43 ERA and coming off a complete-game shutout against the Pac-12 USC last weekend. ASU plugged across two runs in the bottom of the third against Bibee on an RBI fielder's choice and a run on a wild pitch to take an early 2-0 lead.
Kai Murphy had the big moment of the day though in the fourth, though, lacing a pitch off Bibee's right foot that caromed into the short outfield and had eyes on it the whole way, taking advantage of the weird bounce to chug into an infield double. The pitch clearly fazed Bibee, as he immediately gave up a RBI single up the middle to Major before coming tentatively off the field. ASU didn't hesitate to take advantage of the shorted outing, ripping seven straight runs off the Titan bullpen to blow the game open by the end of the seventh.
ASU got at Fullerton ace Tanner Bibee in this one. Already a two-time Big West Pitcher of the Week, Bibee entered the weekend having only allowed one earned run all season (0.43 ERA) and had walked just two batters all year in 21.0 innings pitched. Bibee had three walks in 3.1 innings of work and allowed three earned runs.
Bibee was coming off a complete game shutout of USC last weekend and had gone 6.0 innings in his other two starts. It was the first time he'd be chased early this season. It was the first time that Bibee did not go at least 4.0 innings since May 22 of his freshman year in 2018.
It was the first time ASU posted back-to-back shutouts since Long Beach State in 2013. It has happened just eight times in the Pac-12 era of baseball (since 1978).
ASU used a school record for a shutout with eight pitchers on Sunday, just to follow it up with a six-pitcher effort on Friday - which was previously tied for the third-most in program history.
For the sixth consecutive game, at least seven Sun Devils recorded a hit (8).
ASU's rotation has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 26 of 28 games since Jason Kelly was named the pitching coach. For perspective, ASU gave up six or more runs in 25 of 57 games in the 2019 season.
INNING BY INNING
Seth Tomczak got his second straight start and shook off a tough triple on a missed diving play on the outfield to strand the runner at third and keep things scoreless in the first.
Tomczak needed just 7 pitches to get out of the second inning, though the Devils went down in order as well.
Tomczak gave way to Levine with a runner on second and two outs and the redshirt sophomore quickly retired the final batter to keep Fullerton off the board. ASU broke through in the bottom half of the frame behind walks from Sam Ferri and Drew Swift sandwiched around a Joe Lampe single to load the bases. Hunter Haas put the first run on the board on an RBI fielder's choice and Lampe scored on a wild pitch to give ASU an early 2-0 lead.
Levine continue his hitless start to the season and that set the table for the big moment in the bottom of the frame. Kai Murphy logged a one-out hustle infield double off the foot of Bibee and scored on the next batter as Allbry Major brought him home with an RBI single and chased Bibee from the game.
Levine put the Hammer down with a 1-2-3 inning and two strikeouts before the Sun Devil offense broke out. Drew Swift single and scored on Hunter Jump's first homer of the year before Sean McLain added a mammoth solo shot to make it 6-0 for the Devils.
Brady Corrigan pitched a scoreless inning of relief and the Devils continued to pile on behind the incredible speed of Joe Lampe. Lampe single with a hard liner off the second baseman to score Sam Ferri, stole second and then showed that speed kills as he took advantage of a fly ball to opposite right field from Drew Swift that carried the outfielder deep to the warning track. Lampe tagged up at second and turned the corner for home for the rare sac fly from second base to make it 8-0.
ASU faced it's first real threat of the day with runners on first and second and two outs but Brock Peery got out of it with a strikeout. With two outs after the stretch, Kai Murphy reached on a bloop single and was rewarded by an absolute monstrous home run from Allbry Major to make it 10-0.
Peery pitched another scoreless inning of relief for the Devils, working around a one-out single as ASU went down in order.
Dom Cacchione made his 2021 debut, inducing a flyout that was tracked nicely in the rain in right center by Murphy and a ground out. Alexander Ogg came in to make his Sun Devil debut for the final out and got it with a line drive to Ethan Long at first base to end the game.
The Sun Devils will look to take the series against Cal State Fullerton tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. AZT. The game will be available on the Pac-12 Live Stream and over the airwaves at 1060 AM KDUS.