Sun Devil Baseball Set For Top-25 Matchup at Oregon
EUGENE -- No. 23 Sun Devil Baseball hits the road for the first time this season, opening Pac-12 play in the same breath in a Top-25 matchup as it takes on No. 19 Oregon in a three-game series in Eugene beginning on Friday. It will the the first time ASU has faced a ranked opponent this season. Weather is expected the be prevalent throughout the weekend but the series is set to get underway at 4 p.m. AZT on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and concluding at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
In The Rankings
The Sun Devils entered the USA Today Coaches Poll at No. 23 this week. ASU is ranked as high as 11th among all the polls this week by Perfect Game. The team is 12th in the Collegiate Baseball News Poll and 26 by the NCBWA. The squad remains unranked by D1Baseball and Baseball America.
Follow the Action
- All three games this weekend will be streamed live online on the main Oregon live stream at https://pac-12.com/live/university-oregon.
- There will be no local radio broadcast this weekend.
- Fans are encouraged to follow along pre-game and in-game content throughout the weekend on the Sun Devil Baseball Twitter account: @ASU_Baseball, especially for key weather updates and time changes.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. Dating back to last year, ASU has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 28 of the 31 games since Jason Kelly's arrival.
2. In its last two three-game series, ASU opponents are 5-for-50 w/ RISP (.100) and just 1-for-10 with a runner on third with less than 2 outs
3. Sean McLain hits in his last 12 games and has homered in three straight games and three of his last four games.
4. The Sun Devil infielders have combined to post just two infield errors on 244 chances this season (.992).
5. ASU has nine homers in the last six games after having just five in the first 8 games of the year. The 14 homers are third in the Pac-12.
6. ASU has yet to lose a game in which Tyler Thornton has started, going 8-0 in those games going back to last year.
7. The bullpen has recorded a 2.74 ERA this season with eight saves and a 76:37 strikeout to walk ratio.
8. Hunter Haas has recorded the go-ahead RBI in five of ASU's 11 wins this season. No other player has more than two.
9. Joe Lampe has advanced a runner with an out 11 times this season - six more than any player on the team - and 2nd in NCAA with 4 sac flies.
10. Kai Murphy has hits in seven of his last eight games after having just one hit in his first five. He has multiple hits in 3 of the last 4 games.
BY THE NUMBERS
28 - ASU has held its opponents to 5 runs or fewer in 28 of the 31 games since Jason Kelly has come on as the pitching coach. For perspective, ASU gave up six or more runs in 25 of its 57 games in 2019. Even despite a tough 10-runs allowed against UNLV, ASU is 20th in the nation and third in the Pac-12 with a 2.93 ERA this year. ASU is 24th in the country and fourth in the Pac-12 with a 1.16 WHIP so far this year. The team is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in hits allowed per nine innings (6.71).
12 - Sean McLain has become the hottest batter in the Sun Devil lineup, with hits in his last 12 games and has multiple hits in seven of those - the most-multi hit games on the team. He leads the team with a .396 average on the year, good for fourth in the Pac-12.McLain has homered in each of his last three games and in four of the last five games. The four homers are tied for fourth in the Pac-12. Combined with his six doubles on the year, he has more extra-base hits than singles and his .771 average is second in the Pac-12.
8 - ASU has yet to lose a game in which Tyler Thornton has started since arriving in Phoenix, going 8-0 in those games. Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in seven of his eight outings at ASU. In fact, including his 13 starts at Saint Mary's, Thornton has failed to reach the five-inning mark just three times in his 21 collegiate starts. Thornton has 6 or more strikeouts in six of his first eight appearances for the Sun Devils dating back to last year. His 21 strikeouts this season are currently good for sixth in the Pac-12.
2 - The Sun Devil infielders have combined to post just two infield errors on 244 chances on the season (.992). That comes despite starting freshmen at first, second, and third and shifting Drew Swift from second base to shortstop. The series will feature two shortstops who have yet to post an errors this season in Swift (52 chances) and UO's Josh Kasevich (47 chances). The left side of ASU's infield has yet to post an error this season between Swift and freshman third baseman Hunter Haas (30-for-30 on defensive chances).
On The Ducks
- ASU leads the all-time series against the Ducks, 25-12.
- The two squads tend to get into many closely contests matchups in games at PK Park, with 11 of 15 games decided by two runs or less. There have been three extra-inning contests and nine one-run games with Oregon owning a 8-7 lead in games played in Eugene.
- After back-to-back series wins over ranked UC Santa Barbara and Oregon State, Oregon has moved into all six of the college baseball polls.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 12 of 14 games this season and enters the weekend with a .333 average - 18th in the Pac-12. His slugging percentage sits at .537, 14thin the Pac-12 and a notable evolution for a player who had just two extra-base hits in 55 games as a freshman and slugged just .333 as a sophomore.
- He has reached base on 10 out of 22 leadoff opportunities this season and has six games this season with multiple hits. He has multiple hits in 14 of his last 25 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he is a perfect 52-for-52 on his chances with a team-high 34 assists and four double plays turned. He is one of just four shortstops in the league without an error, though he has more chances than any of the others and the third-most chances overall in the league.
- Swift was Mr. Sun Devil for the ASU last season, seeing time at second base, shortstop, center field and right field. He finished on an unreal tear over his final seven games, recording five-straight multi-hit efforts at one point and two of those being four-hit contests. In that five-game stretch, Swift went 15-of-29 (.517) with a team-best 13 RBIs.
- Swift led the team in batting average, sitting at .365 overall on the season with a team-best 23 hits - three more than any of his teammates. He was easily been ASU's best hitter with runners in scoring position, going 11-for-24 (.524) with three more hits than any teammate. Swift had a team-best 8 multi-hit games - two more than any of his teammates - and was the only player on the squad to record a 4-hit game - doing so twice.
- Swift helped turn 10 double plays last season - the third-most in the Pac-12 and most among non-first basemen.
- Swift was named to the Pac-12 honorable mention All-Defensive team as a sophomore. He was a part of 36 double plays, despite missing time with injury, good for fourth in the Pac-12 in the category and second among non-first basemen. His 135 defensive assists were good for 7th in the Pac-12.
- Sean McLain has become the hottest batter in the Sun Devil lineup, with hits in his last 12 games and has multiple hits in seven of those - the most-multi hit games on the team.
- McLain has homered in each of his last three games and in four of the last five. His four homers this year are tied for fourth in the Pac-12.
- He leads the team with a .396 average on the year, good for fourth in the Pac-12.
- McLain has six doubles on the year, good for third in the Pac-12 and 37th nationally.
- 10 of his 19 hits this year have been for extra bases, posting a .771 slugging percentage that is second in the Pac-12.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 60.9 percent of the time (14-of-23 chances).
- He has just two errors on 44 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield after spending the majority of his time at second base.
Welcome to Our Haas
- Hunter Haas continues to get it done both on the plate and at the hot corner, entering the weekend with a .315 average and leading the team with 12 RBIs.
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI five times this season in ASU's 11 wins - including each of the three games against Fullerton. No other Sun Devil has more than two.
- He and Hunter Jump are the only two starters on the team with positive or even Walk:Strikeout ratios as he has just four strikeouts with four walks.
- His seven hits with runners in scoring position are most on the team (and come on just 15 chances for a .467 average).
- His four-RBI effort against Nevada is tied for the most for a Sun Devil this season and he leds the team with three multi-RBI games.
- The frosh isn't afraid to shoot his shot with the majority of his action coming early in counts, rarely seeing more than two pitches. 14 of his 17 hits this year have come on 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 1-1, 0-2 or 2-0 counts.
- Haas has easily been ASU's best hitter with two outs, recording nine hits on 13 chances - two more hits than any other player on the roster.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 18 times on 31 opportunities this season for a .581 average and out of ASU's day-to-day starters, he has stranded the second-fewest base runners with just four.
- Haas has been perfect over at the hot corner, with no errors on 30 total chances.
I Love Lamp
- Joe Lampe showed why he might quickly become a fan favorite for the Sun Devil faithful, hustling out doubles on routine singles, scoring sacrifce flies from second base, coming home from second on infield singles and generally providing some oomph into the bottom of the Sun Devil order.
- His .385 average is seventh in the Pac-12 while his .641 slugging percentage is ninth.
- He is the only Sun Devil with multiple three-hit games this year.
- Lampe has stranded just one runner on the base path this year and successfully advanced runners 16 times on 29 chances (.552).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 11 runners advanced with an out this year - six more than any other player on the roster.
- Lampe is second in the nation with four sacrifice flies this season.
- Lampe is second on the team this year in slugging (.641) and RBIs (11).
- His two triples on the year are ninth in the nation and second in the Pac-12.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong in his last couple games with hits in nine of his last 10 games.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 10 walks on the season - four more than any other player on the team and tied for 12th in the Pac-12.
- Jump was among the hottest hitters in the Sun Devil lineup in the last couple weeks of the 2020 season and finished the year on an eight-game hitting streak.
- In the last two weeks of the 2020 season, Jump went 14-of-31 with a .452 average and was second on the team with 12 RBIs in the final 8 games. He slugged .742 in that time with a team-best six doubles.
- He led the Pac-12 and was 27th nationally with 7 total doubles on the season.
- Kai Murphy seems to be right smack in the middle of many of big ASU moments this season and for a while didn't quite have an average that really showed what he was adding to the team.
- That has changed in recent weeks as he has hits in seven of his last eight games after having just one hit in his first five games of the year.
- The recent streak has Murphy with a .300 average and multiple hits in three of his last four games - including his first career three-hit effort against UNLV.
- He is tied for the team lead with 11 runs scored on the year.
Sam I Am
- It is a welcome sight to see Sam Ferri back behind the plate for the Sun Devils after facing two major surgeries in his collegiate career.
- Ferri has responded to his return to the starting lineup with a solid .306 average and the pop has started to show with his first two extra-base hits coming in the last week.
- Ferri has thrown out three runners trying to steal second against him, compared to just three stolen bases.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
- Tyler Thornton has continued to do Tyler Thornton things in 2021 and will look to take those talents as the stabalizer in the weekend rotation after the unfortunate season-ending injuries to Cooper Benson, Boyd Vander Kooi and Erik Tolman.
- Thornton leads the Devils with 20.1 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 27 and to six walks. The 27 strikeouts are 6th in the Pac-12.
- Thornton has 6 or more strikeouts in six of his first eight appearances for the Sun Devils dating back to last year.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in seven of his eight outings at ASU. In fact, including his 13 starts at Saint Mary's, Thornton has failed to reach the five-inning mark just three times in his 21 collegiate starts.
- ASU has not lost a game in which he had started, going 8-0 in those games.
- Thornton, a transfer from Saint Mary's, played heavily into the Sun Devil pitching rotation last season and posted a quality start in three of his first four starts, the only Sun Devil to post such a feat.
- Thornton was 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA with 25 strikeouts and seven walks in 24.0 innings pitched - tied for 6th in the Pac-12. His 25 strikeouts were 11th in the Pac-12.
- Thornton was tabbed the National Freshman of the Year (Collegiate Baseball) and National Freshman Pitcher of the Year (NCWBA) and Freshman of the Year of the West Coast Conference. He finished the year with a 10-2 record and a 2.71 earned run average in 13 starts. His 5.54 hits allowed per nine innings were ranked 11th in the country and first in the West Coast Conference and his 10 wins were also ranked 11th in the nation.
The Brady Bunch
- Brady Corrigan has been electric out of the bullpen for ASU this season, posting a 1.29 ERA in six appearances and 7.0 innings pitched.
- Corrigan has the lowest batting average against on the team at .043 and struck out 13 batters to just three walks.
- He has retired the first batter he has faced a perfect 6-of-6 times.
The JK Effect
- Pitching coach Jason Kelly has made an immediate impression in Phoenix in just his short time with the program and his early returns last season have continued into 2021.
- ASU has held its opponents to 5 runs or fewer in 28 of the 31 games since Kelly has come on as the pitching coach. For perspective ASU gave up six or more runs in 25 of its 57 games in the 2019 season.
- Even despite a tough 10-runs allowed against UNLV, ASU is 20th in the nation and third in the Pac-12 with a 2.93 ERA this year.
- ASU is 24th in the country and fourth in the Pac-12 with a 1.16 WHIP so far this year. The team is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in hits allowed per nine innings (6.71).
- The series-clinching effort against Sac State was ASU's first one-hitter since May 20, 2007 when Brian Flores went the distance in an 8-1 victory over Oregon State. ASU has had two no-hitters since then (Ryan Kellogg in 2013 and Ryan Hingst in 2016).
- ASU had eight pitchers combine for a shutout in the team's series sweeping win over Utah - the first time in program history eight pitchers combined to shut out another team.
Playing the Field
- The Sun Devils are likely one of the few teams in the country that are not returning a single position player to their 2020 positions in 2021. ASU's only two veteran starters are Drew Swift - who shifted over to shortstop this season after spending the majority of his career at second base - and catcher Sam Ferri, who was knocked out during opening weekend last season with injury. All other positions on the diamond have been replaced by newcomers.
- Despite that, ASU finds itself fielding at a very respectable .978 average early in the season - good for fourth in the Pac-12 and 36th in the nation.
- Four of ASU's 11 errors this season have come from pitchers, which bumps ASU's position players to a .985 average.
- The Sun Devil infielders have combined to post just two infield errors on 244 chances after this weekend (.992). That comes despite starting freshmen at first, second, and third and shifting Drew Swift from second base to shortstop.
Grab the Bullpen By the Horns
- ASU will depend heavily on its pen this season with the loss of Cooper Benson Boyd Vander Kooi and Erik Tolman's. But thus far, the group has been up to task.
- The bullpen has recorded a 2.74 ERA this season with eight saves and a 76:37 strikeout to walk ratio.
- Freshman Ethan Long is third on the team with six appearances and has yet to allow a run, recording a team-best four saves in the process.
- Eight players who have come in off the bench still have a 0.00 ERA on the board and 13 are sub-3.00.
- The bullpen is combining to allow just a .199 opponent batter's average against.
- Cam Dennie has inherited nine runners this season and not allowed any of them to score.
Feeling the Draft
- Despite the draft being shortened to five rounds from 40 due to the fallout from COVID-19, the Sun Devils made history as ASU's five draft selections through the first four rounds marked a program record. Previously the record was four, which had occurred six times in history and most recently in 2012 (Deven Marrero, Brady Rodgers, Joey DeMichele, Jake Barrett).
- The five selections in the 2020 MLB Draft were the most of any program. ASU has had at least five MLB Draft selections if 49 of the 56 all-time draft years since Sun Devil alumnus Rick Monday was selected with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1965 MLB Draft. It was ASU's third consecutive season with five draft picks and the fourth season in the last five years with the total.
- The haul brings ASU's all-time MLB Draft selections to an NCAA-leading 447, including secondary phase and January drafts throughout history. ASU's 156 draft selections since 1999 are also the most of any team in the nation.
- Sun Devil Baseball bookended the opening round of the 2020 MLB Draft as Spencer Torkelson was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Detroit Tigers while Alika Williams was chosen 37th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Competitive Balance Round A with the final selection of the first round.
- Torkelson became the fourth Arizona State baseball player to go No. 1 overall in program history, easily an NCAA-high – two more than any other program. He joins Rick Monday (1965), Floyd Bannister (1976) and Bob Horner (1978) to earn the prestigious designation out of ASU.
- It was the seventh time in ASU history that the program recorded two first round selections (including supplementary rounds) - tied with Stanford for the most multi-pick years in NCAA history. The last time it occurred was 1997 when Ryan Bradley and Dan McKinley were selected 40th and 49th overall in the supplemental rounds. It is the first time with at least one of the players going in the non-compensatory first round since 1994 (Antone Williamson (4th) and Jacob Cruz (32nd)).
- With Torkelson becoming Sun Devil Baseball's fourth No. 1 overall pick, Arizona State now ranks tied for fourth among all NCAA programs for most No. 1 overall draft picks from a single program among the major sports (MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL). Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC football have all had five No. 1 picks in the NFL draft. Sun Devil Baseball is the only NCAA baseball program in the Top-10.
- Torkelson was the 22nd first round selection for the Sun Devils in program history (June draft only, no supplemental rounds) – good for the second-highest tally in NCAA history (Stanford's 23). With supplemental rounds included, Torkelson and Williams mark 30 first-round selections - one behind Stanford for the most in the NCAA. The duo marks the 51st and 52nd first round selections in program history with the supplementary, January and June Secondary phase drafts included as well.
- Torkelson's selection marks the second consecutive season that a Sun Devil has gone in the first 10 picks of the MLB Draft, joining Hunter Bishop's 10th overall selection by the San Francisco Giants last season. Torkelson is the 14th Top-10 pick in Sun Devil program history - the most of any program in the NCAA.
UNLV (6-3) | #19 Oregon (8-3) | #23 ASU (11-2)
Tuesday, March 16, 12 p.m. | Arizona State vs. UNLV (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Friday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State at #19 Oregon (Eugene) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Saturday, March 20, 2 p.m. | Arizona State at #19 Oregon (Eugene) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Sunday, March 21, 12:30 p.m. | Arizona State at #19 Oregon (Eugene) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Friday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Washington State (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Saturday, March 27, 2 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Washington State (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Sunday, March 28, 12 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Washington State (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Friday, Mach 12, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Cal State Fullerton (Phoenix) | W, 10-0
Saturday, March 13, 2 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Cal State Fullerton (Phoenix) | W, 6-4
Saturday, March 14, 12:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Cal State Fullerton (Phoenix) | W, 5-2