Sun Devil Baseball Readies for Territorial Cup Series Against Arizona
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***Due to COVID-19 circumstances, roster and statistical printouts are no longer available at the stadium. Fans are encouraged to print out materials at home and bring them to the ballpark.
PHOENIX -- Sun Devil Baseball will look to stay hot this weekend as it welcomes rival Arizona for a three-game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium beginning Thursday evening. The three-game series will feature first pitches on 6 p.m./6 p.m./7 p.m. AZT on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Sun Devils will head to Tucson on Tuesday to wrap up the Territorial Cup series with a non-conference contest against the Wildcats at Hi Corbett Field at 6 p.m. AZT.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. Dating back to last year, ASU has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 33 of the 37 games since Jason Kelly's arrival.
2. In its last three weekend series, ASU opponents are 15-for-93 (.161) with runners in scoring position.
3. Sean McLain has hits in his last 18 games and leads the team with 11 multi-hit games in the process - three more than any of his teammates
4. Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have been flawless on the left side of the ASU infield, committing no errors on 126 total chances.
5. ASU's magic number this season has been four runs, going 13-1 when it scores four to just 2-4 when it scores three or less.
6. ASU has lost just one game in which Tyler Thornton has started, going 9-1 in those games going back to last year.
7. The bullpen has recorded a 2.73 ERA this season with eight saves and a 83:43 strikeout to walk ratio.
8. Hunter Haas has recorded the go-ahead RBI or non-assisted run in six of ASU's 15 wins this season. No other player has more than two.
9. Brady Corrigan has retired the first batter he has faced in each of his eight appearances this season.
10. Despite having half as many at-bats and starts in the lineup as his teammates, Ethan Long leads the team with 7 hits with RISP.
BY THE NUMBERS
33 - ASU has held its opponents to 5 runs or fewer in 33 of the 37 games since Jason Kelly joined the staff. For perspective, ASU gave up six or more runs in 25 of its 57 games in 2019. ASU is 14th in the nation and 2nd in the Pac-12 with a 2.98 ERA. ASU has four shutouts this season, 5th nationally and its most since 2013. ASU is 16th in the country and third in the Pac-12 with a 1.17 WHIP this year. The team is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.03) In ASU's last 12 weekend games, opponents are batting just 15-for-93 (.161) with runners in scoring position.
18 - Sean McLain has become the hottest batter in the Sun Devil lineup, with hits in his last 18 games and has multiple hits in 11 of those - the most-multi hit games on the team and three more than any teammate. He leads the team with a .414 average on the year, good for third in the Pac-12 and 44th in the NCAA. He is slugging .743 on the year, the third-highest total in the league and 34th in the nation. Of his 29 hits this season, 14 have been for extra bases. He is advancing baserunners at a team-high .611 clip (22-of-36).
9 - ASU has lost just one game in which Tyler Thornton has started since arriving in Phoenix, going 9-1 in those games. Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 10 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 23 collegiate starts. His 30.1 innings pitched this season sit 10th in the Pac-12 while his .223 average against on the year is good four 14th among pitchers with the minimum amount of innings.
0 - The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been flawless this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas having no errors on 126 total chances this season. They are the only left side of an infield in the Pac-12 without an error this season. No other duo has less than three. ASU's 126 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12. Drew Swift (77-for-77) is one of two shortstops in the league without an error, though he has nearly 30 more chances than USC's Tyler Pritchard (49-for-49).
In The Rankings
ASU's sweep of Washington State saw it elevated in a number of the weekly rankings, topping out at #14 by Collegiate Baseball. The team was just outside the Top-25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll (26) and in the NCBWA Poll (27). The team remains unranked by Baseball America, D1Baseball and Perfect Game.
Follow the Action
- For the first time this season, the Sun Devils will be featured on the Pac-12 Network regionally. Dominic Cotroneo will be on the call.
- Each game will also be broadcast over the airwaves on 1060 AM KDUS.
- 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.
On The Wildcats
- In the modern era of NCAA Baseball (since it became an NCAA sport in 1959), ASU owns a dominant 204-133 record against the Wildcats. ASU went 23-116 against the Wildcats prior to that dating back to 1907, skewing the overall series record all-time.
- The Sun Devils swept the four game series against Arizona back in 2019, the last time the two teams squared off.
- Wildcats catcher Daniel Susac was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Tuesday. In four games last week he hit .556 with 6 runs, 3 doubles, 4 home runs, 10 RBI, and a 1.389 slugging percentage.
- As of games played March 30, the Arizona offense leads all Division I programs with 212 runs scored and ranks Top 10 in the nation in triples (T-1st, 12), hits (2nd, 258), on-base percentage (2nd, .438), scoring (3rd, 9.2), walks (4th, 144), batting average (6th, .318), and slugging percentage (10th, .501).
- The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked in all five major national polls; they currently check in at No. 16 by Baseball America, No. 19 by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball, No. 21 by the USA Today Coaches Poll, and No. 22 by D1Baseball.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 18 of 20 games this season and enters the weekend with a .346 average - good for 12th in the Pac-12.
- His slugging percentage sits at .487 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.
- Swift is second on the team in having reached base in 12 straight games and owns an eight-game hitting streak entering the weekend.
- He has reached base on 14 out of 27 leadoff opportunities this season and has eight games this season with multiple hits - second on the team. He has multiple hits in 16 of his last 31 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he is a perfect 77-for-77 on his chances with a team-high 53 assists and seven double plays turned. He is one of just two shortstops in the Pac-12 without an error though he has nearly 30 more chances that USC's Tyler Pritchard (49).
- Swift led the team in batting average last year, 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 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 each of his last 18 games and has multiple hits in 11 of those - the most-multi hit games on the team and three more than any other player.
- He leads the team with a .414 average on the year, good for third in the Pac-12 and 44th among all NCAA Division I batters.
- McLain has nine doubles on the year, good for second in the Pac-12 and 19th in the country.
- McLain has homered four times this season, good for eighth in the Pac-12
- 14 of his 29 hits this year have been for extra bases, posting a .743 slugging percentage that is third in the Pac-12 and 34th in the nation.
- His OPS is a gaudy 1.204 on the season - third in the Pac-12 and 39th in the nation.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 61.1 percent of the time (22-of-36 chances).
- He has just two errors on 84 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 .289 average and second on the team with 12 RBIs and leading the way with 18 runs scored.
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run six times this season in ASU's 15 wins - including each of the three games against Fullerton. No other Sun Devil has more than two.
- Haas has struck out just five times this season, marking him the toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12 - doing so just once every 15.2 at-bats this year - and 23rd in the nation.
- His seven hits with runners in scoring position are most on the team (and come on just 21 chances for a .333 average).
- His four-RBI effort against Nevada is tied for the most for a Sun Devil this season and tied for second 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. 15 of his 22 hits this year have come on 0-0, 1-0 or 0-1 counts.
- Haas has been ASU's best hitter with two outs, recording 10 hits on 18 chances.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 22 times on 46 opportunities this season for a .478 average.
- Haas has been perfect over at the hot corner, with no errors on 49 total chances. He is one of just two third basemen in the Pac-12 with no errors, though he has done so on nine more chances than OSU's Jake Dukart.
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 .328 average is 15th in the Pac-12 while his .525 slugging percentage is 17th as well.
- Lampe leads the team with 14 RBIs on the year.
- He is the only Sun Devil with multiple three-hit games this year.
- Lampe has stranded just seven runners on the base path this year and successfully advanced runners 18 times on 36 chances (.500).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 14 runners advanced with an out this year - five more than any other player on the roster.
- Lampe is fifth in the nation with four sacrifice flies this season.
- Lampe had walked just twice in the first 17 games of the year but drew three of them in his first weekend against Washington State this past weekend.
Take the Long Way
- Ethan Long has quickly asserted himself as someone that needs to be on the field for the Devils, whether its in the lineup or on the mound.
- Long leads the team with four saves this season, good for third in the Pac-12 and 23rd nationally. He has yet to allow a run as a pitcher this season.
- But of late, Long has established himself as one of the hottest hitters in the lineup and enters the weekend on a six-game hitting streak.
- Despite having about half as many at-bats and half as many starts in the lineup as he teammates, Long leads the team with seven base hits with runners in scoring position on 14 chances (.500). He is already third on the team with 11 RBIs.
- He has four sacrifice flies this season, tied for the Pac-12 lead and fifth in the nation.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong in his last couple games with hits in 14 of his last 15 games.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 11 walks on the season - three more than any other player on the team.
- He leads the team with four multi-RBI games.
- 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.
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 30.1 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 37 and to 14 walks. The 37 strikeouts are tied for 7th in the Pac-12.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 10 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 23 collegiate starts.
- ASU has lost just one game in which he had started, going 9-1 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.
Taking the Fall
- Thrust into a starting role due to the loss of three starting pitchers, Justin Fall has embraced moving for the backend of the pen to post three straight solid starts for the Devils.
- Fall has gone at least 5.0 innings since making the transition to weekend starter, including a career ASU best 6.2 innings of shutout ball against Washington State.
- Opponents are averaging just a .190 average against Fall this season, good for seventh among qualifying pitchers.
- His three victories on the year are good for third in the Pac-12.
The Brady Bunch
- Brady Corrigan has been electric out of the bullpen for ASU this season, posting a 1.00 ERA in eight appearances and 9.0 innings pitched.
- Corrigan has the lowest batting average against on the team at .097 and struck out 14 batters to just four walks.
- He has retired the first batter he has faced a perfect 8-of-8 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 33 of the 37 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.
- ASU is 14th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 with a 2.98 ERA.
- ASU is 16th in the country and third in the Pac-12 with a 1.17 WHIP this year
- The team is 17th in the nation and second in the Pac-12 in hits allowed per nine innings (7.03).
- Through 20 games, ASU has allowed just 63 earned runs. Even it the shortened 17-game COVID season, ASU had allowed 70 runs. For some recent first 20-game history: 2019 (69), 2018 (97), 2017 (122), 2016 (78), 2015 (81). It is the fewest runs allowed through 20 games to start the year since allowing 62 in 2012.
- In ASU's last four weekend series, opponents are batting just 15-for-93 (.161) with runners in scoring position and just 35-for-178 (.197) overall with runners on the basepath. With a runner on third and less than two outs in those 12 games, opponents have scored just 8 runs on 22 chances (.364).
- 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.
More on the Staff
- ASU has four shutouts this season, the most it has had since the 2013 season. ASU had five shutouts in 2012, the next milestone. The four shutouts this season are fifth in the nation and tops in the Pac-12.
- In the second game against Washington State, ASU stranded 15 baserunners. It was the first time since March 15, 2016 against Eastern Michigan that ASU stranded 15 or more baserunners and that was an 11-inning game. The last time it happened in a nine-inning game was when it allowed 15 in a 15-5 victory over Stanford on May 30, 2004.
- The four runs were the fewest for Washington State in a three-game series since playing Stanford in 2015. Washington State was 24th in the country with 145 runs coming into the weekend and averaging over 8.5 per game.
- Twice now this season, ASU has held an opponent to just four runs in a three-game series (Utah). The last time it had done that even once in a season was 2013 against Long Beach State (two runs allowed). In 2012, ASU had three such series (WMU (2), USC (2), Gonzaga (4).
- With two shutouts against Washington State, it marked the first time ASU had shut a team out twice in a three-game series since 2013 against Long Beach State. It was the first time ASU shutout a Pac-12 conference opponent twice in a series since Washington in 2011.
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 .980 average this season - good for 18th nationally and fourth in the Pac-12,
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been flawless this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas having no errors on field errors on 126 total chances this season. They are the only left side of an infield in the Pac-12 without an error this season. No other duo has less than three. ASU's 126 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
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 2.87 ERA this season with eight saves and a 93:45 strikeout to walk ratio.
- Eleven players who have come off the bench has still recorded a sub-3.00 ERA on the season
- The bullpen is combining to allow just a .210 opponent batter's average against.
- Cam Dennie has inherited nine runners this season and not allowed any of them to score.
- Will Levine and Jared Glenn have also not allowed an inherited runner to score out of five chances.
- Levine is tied for third in the Pac-12 with three wins on the season.