Peery Dominates as Sun Devil Baseball Takes Opener from WSU
PHOENIX – The Sun Devil Baseball team was clicking on all cylinders on Friday night, silencing a potent Washington State offense with a 10-0 victory in front of a limited capacity sellout crowd of 1,776 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Brock Peery earned his first collegiate start for the Sun Devils (13-5, 2-2 Pac-12) – and as he noted in his postgame interview, the first start of his entire life – and was masterful in the process, giving ASU 6.2 shutout innings with five strikeouts and no walks to open the series against the Cougars (12-6, 1-3 Pac-12).
Peery simply threw strikes and let his defense handle the rest, issuing nine groundouts and five flyouts – though many of the later came later in his effort. The defense was flawless behind him with no errors and a double play. It was a notable achievement as the Cougars had entered the contest having average over 8.5 runs per game this season and were 24thnationally in runs scored.
The Sun Devil offense did the rest, leading off the game with four consecutive hits and three runs and never looking back.
Drew Swift, Sean McLain and Kai Murphy all had multi-hit efforts, with Murphy recording his third homer of the year and McLain notching a hit for the 16th straight game. Seven Sun Devils logged a hit.
ASU was deadly and aggressive on the base path all night, stealing four bases, getting sacrifice hits, drawing walks and advancing baserunners 16 times on 22 chances (.727) while Washington State was a paltry 1-for-14 (.071) in the same category.
This turning point was an easy one as ASU ripped off four straight base hits to lead off the game with doubles among those from Joe Lampe and Sean McLain and took an immediate 3-0 lead off a pitcher who entered the game with a 3-0 record and a 2.49 ERA. ASU tacked on another in the first on and error and manufactured a single run in the second and third to blow things open and allow Peery some breathing room to keep the Cougars from clawing back.
Brock Peery told the media after the game that it was not just the first start of his ASU career, but the first start of his career PERIOD and did so on a Friday night in the Pac-12. The true freshman was electric, regardless of the circumstances, as ASU went into the game hoping to get maybe six to nine outs of out him. Instead they got 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball as he struck out five and walked none. Peery through just 70 pitches, pitching to contact and letting his defense handle the rest.
- WSU's Brandon White was coming off a 7.0 IP, seven strikeout victory over a Top-25 Oregon State team last weekend in which he gave up just one run. In three of his four starts this year, he had given up one run or less and entered the game with a 2.49 ERA before ASU tagged him for four runs in the first and seven earned runs overall.
- He allowed nine hits in the contest after giving up just 11 all season in his four previous starts.
- White was averaging 6.0 strikeouts per game but only managed three against the Sun Devils.
- He had given up just two extra base hits all SEASON before allowing three to ASu on Friday.
- In six appearances this season, Brock Peery had just four strikeouts. He had that in his first 2.2 innings of action tonight and finished with five.
- Sean McLain extended his hitting streak to 16 straight games and added his team-leading ninth-multi game hit in the process.
- Drew Swift extended his reached base streak to 10 games and now has multiple hits in 16 of his last 29 games dating back to last season.
- Peery's first five innings of work came as he threw 41 strikes on 53 pitches. In his six previous appearances this year, he had only put in 4.1 innings of work. He finished with just 70 pitches over 6.2 innings and 53 of them were for strikes.
- As a whole, ASU threw just 101 pitches in the contest (74 for strikes for a 73.3 strike percentage) to 161 for Washington State.
- Washington State entered the contest average over 8.5 runs per game and were 24th in the nation this season with 145 runs scored. WSU was second in the league in average (.301) and OBP (.398) and third in slugging (.455) and ASU held that offense to .212 hitting with just two extra base hits (a pair of doubles late in the game).
- It was the second time in four games that ASU had not allowed a walk after having at least one in the first 14 games of the season.
- It was the first time WSU had been shut out since May 11, 2019 against #1 UCLA.
- ASU has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 31 of 35 games since Jason Kelly was named pitching coach.
- ASU is now 11-1 when it scores four or more runs compared to 2-4 when it doesn't.
- In ASU's last 10 weekend games, opponents are just 27-for-149 (.181) when they have runners on the basepath and just 13-of-78 (.167) with runners in scoring position.
INNING BY INNING
It was all Sun Devils in the first with Peery getting things going with a 1-2-3 frame while fanning two. ASU ripped of four straight base hits to lead things off, including doubles from Joe Lampe and Sean McLain to jump out to a 3-0 run without even putting an out on the board. The Devils tacked on another one later in the frame as Ethan Long scored from third as the WSU first baseman dropped a routine groundout throw from his second-baseman that would have ended the inning.
Washington State got its first hit of the game with a leadoff single but Peery shut things down as he got the next three outs to keep the Cougs off the board. ASU got a two-out rally going in B2 with Swift singling and stealing second, scoring on Sean McLain's second hit of the day to give ASU a 5-0 lead.
Peery retired the side in order and the Devils made it three straight innings with a run on Jack Moss' sac fly following a Hunter Haas leadoff double.
Peery worked around a leadoff single without any damage done while ASU failed to put a run up for the first time in the game.
WSU again got a leadoff single and quickly wiped it off the board with a double play. ASU manufactured another pair of runs behind a walk, some singles an HBP and a pair of RBI groundouts to make it 8-0.
Washington State had its first threat of the game behind back-to-back one out doubles that put runners on second and third. But Hunter Haas took an infield ground and picked the lead runner out third who took too big a lead and Peery got his fifth strikeout of the game to escape the frame with no damage done. Kai Murphy brought the big stick in B6, launching a two-out bomb to deep right field for his third homer of the year and a 10-0 ASU lead.
Peery got two easy fly balls to right and that was it for the freshman as he gave ASU 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball in his starting debut. The Devils went down in order in the bottom half.
Bodlovich gave ASU a scoreless inning of relief while the Sun Devils were unable to add to their lead.
Joe Hauser came in and capped off ASU's third shutout of the season with a 1-2-3- frame of action
The Sun Devils will try to secure the series victory tomorrow as Tyler Thornton toes the mound in his typical Saturday role. The game will get underway at 2 p.m. AZT and will be carried through the ASU Live Stream and over the airwaves at 1060 AM KDUS