Sun Devil Baseball Heads to PNW to Take on Washington
SEATTLE -- Sun Devil Baseball heads to the Pacific Northwest this weekend for a three-game Pac-12 series against the Washington Huskies in Seattle, Wash., beginning on Friday. The three-game set will get underway on Friday at 7 p.m. AZT, followed by a 5 p.m. Saturday tilt before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 12 p.m.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. Dating back to last year, ASU has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 34 of the 41 games since Jason Kelly's arrival.
2. In Pac-12 games, ASU opponents are 20-for-90 (.222) with runners in scoring position, despite facing two Top-25 offenses
3. Sean McLain has hits in his last 22 games, the fourth-longest hitting streak at ASU since the 1998 season.
4. Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have committed just two errors on the left side of the infield on 149 chances - the fewest in the Pac-12
5. ASU's magic number this season has been four runs, going 14-3 when it scores four-plus to just 3-5 when it scores three or less.
6. ASU has lost just two game in which Tyler Thornton has started, going 9-2 in those games going back to last year.
7. Will Levine has inherited nine runners this season and none have scored. He has induced five double plays in 14.1 innings pitched
8. Hunter Haas has recorded the go-ahead RBI or non-assisted run in six of ASU's 16 wins this season. No other player has more than two.
9. ASU had four shutouts this season, its most since 2013 and good for tops in the Pac-12 and eighth in the country.
10. Justin Fall has faced two Top-25 offenses in the last two weeks in WSU (8.5 rpg) and Arizona (9.2 rpg) and allowed just a single run.
BY THE NUMBERS
34 - ASU has held its opponents to 5 runs or fewer in 34 of the 41 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 29th in the nation and third in the Pac-12 with a 3.51 ERA.In ASU's Pac-12 series, opponents are batting just 20-for-90 (.222) with runners in scoring position and just 35-for-178 (.197).This week's anomalous midweek tilt against Arizona aside, ASU pitchers have held opponents to just 35-of-229 hitting with two outs (.153)
22 - Sean McLain has become the hottest batter in the Sun Devil lineup, with hits in 22 straight games and multiple hits in 13 of those - the most-multi hit games on the team and four more than any teammate. The 22-game hitting streak is the fourth-longest at ASU since 1998 and a hit on Friday would tie him for third with Andre Ethier's 2003 23-game hitting streak. He leads the team with a .412 average on the year, good for third in the Pac-12 and 35th among all NCAA Division I batters.McLain has 10 doubles on the year, tied for the Pac-12 lead and 22nd in the country.
2 - The left side of the Sun Devil infield has nearly flawless this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas combining for just two errors on 149 chances this season. The two errors mark are the lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12. No other duo has less than four. ASU's 149 chances on the left side of the infield are fourth-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12. Swift's one error on 93 chances is tied with Utah Matt Richardson (82 chances) for second in the Pac-12. USC's Tyler Pritchard has no errors but on only 59 chances.
1 - In his last two starts against two Top-25 offenses in Washington State (8.5 runs per game) and Arizona (9.2 runs per game), Fall has pitched 12.2 innings and allowed just a single earned run between them. Fall has gone at least 5.0 innings in all four games since making the transition to weekend starter, including a career ASU best 6.2 innings of shutout ball against Washington State.He has posted two consecutive quality starts, the only Sun Devil with multiple quality starts this season.
In The Rankings
- ASU remains in the Top-25 in Collegiate Baseball News' weekly poll, checking in at No. 18 this week while it remains 27th in the NCBWA poll. The Sun Devils continue to receive votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, coming in at 30th. ASU sets at 33 in the D1Baseball RPI.
Follow the Action
- The game will be streamed live online through the University of Washington at https://pac-12.com/live/university-washington-3.
- There will be no radio coverage of this weekend's series.
- 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 Huskies
- ASU is 41-28 in the all-time series against the Huskies and dropped the series in Seattle the last time the two teams squared off in 2019.
- UW is coming off a series win at No. 10 UCLA, its first top-10 series win since the end of the 2018 season against No. 3 Stanford.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 20 of 23 games played this season and enters the weekend with a .337 average - good for 14th in the Pac-12.
- His slugging percentage sits at .483 - 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 has reached base in 15-straight games, the second-longest streak on the team.
- He has reached base on 17 out of 33 leadoff opportunities this season (.513) and has nine games this season with multiple hits - second on the team. He has multiple hits in 17 of his last 34 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he has just one error on 93 chances with 64 assists and 11 double plays turned. He is tied with Utah's Matt Richardson (82) chances for second among Pac-12 shortstops with just one error. Tyler Pritchard of USC has 0 but on just 59 chances.
- 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 and in the nation, with hits in each of his last 22 games and multiple hits in 13 of those - the most-multi hit games on the team and four more than any other player.
- The 22-game hitting streak is the fourth-longest at ASU since 1998 and a hit on Friday would tie him for third with Andre Ethier's 2003 23-game hitting streak.
- He leads the team with a .412 average on the year, good for third in the Pac-12 and 35th among all NCAA Division I batters.
- McLain has 10 doubles on the year, tied for the Pac-12 lead and 22nd in the country.
- 15 of his 35 hits this year have been for extra bases, posting a .694 slugging percentage that is fifth in the Pac-12 and 57th in the nation.
- His OPS is a gaudy 1.156 on the season - sixth in the Pac-12.
- McLain has scored a team-high 19 runs this season and is sixth in the Pac-12 with 59 total bases.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 57.8 percent of the time (26-of-45 chances).
- He has just two errors on 117 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield . His 117 chances are third among Pac-12 second-basemen while the one infield error is tied for second among second basemen in the league. He has turned 17 double plays this season, most among Pac-12 second basemen.
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 .283 average and second on the team with 15 RBIs and leading the way with 19 runs scored.
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run six times this season in ASU's 16 wins - including each of the three games against Fullerton. No other Sun Devil has more than two.
- Haas has struck out just seven times this season, marking him the toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12 - doing so just once every 13.1 at-bats this year - and 25th in the nation.
- His nine hits with runners in scoring position are most on the team (and come on just 26 chances for a .346 average).
- His four-RBI effort against Nevada is tied for the most for a Sun Devil this season and he leads the team with four 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. 16 of his 26 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 23 chances.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 28 times on 54 opportunities this season for a .519 average.
- Haas has been perfect over at the hot corner, with no errors on 53 total chances while playing at third base. His lone error on the year came in a spot start at shortstop. He is one of just two third basemen in the Pac-12 with no errors (at third base), though he has done so on 14 more chances than Utah's Kai Roberts.
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.
- Lampe leads the team with 16 RBIs on the year.
- He is the only Sun Devil with multiple three-hit games this year.
- Lampe has stranded just nine runners on the base path this year and successfully advanced runners 21 times on 43 chances (.488).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 15 runners advanced with an out this year - six more than any other player on the roster.
- Lampe is eighth in the nation and tops in the Pac-12 with four sacrifice flies this season.
- Lampe has struck out just one every 8.4 at-bats this season, the sixth toughest to strike out in the Pac-12.
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 36thnationally. 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 second on the team with a .340 average.
- Despite having about half as many at-bats and half as many starts in the lineup as he teammates, Long is second on the team with eight base hits with runners in scoring position on 16 chances (.500). He is already fourth on the team with 12 RBIs and just four shy of the team lead in the category.
- He has four sacrifice flies this season, tied for the Pac-12 lead and eigth in the nation.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong with hits in 16 of his last 19 games.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 12 walks on the season and leads the team with four multi-RBI games.
- His eight doubles on the year are 11th 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.
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 34.0 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 40 and to 17 walks. The 40 strikeouts are tied for 10th in the Pac-12.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 11 outings at ASU. In fact, including his 13 starts at Saint Mary's, Thornton has failed to reach the five-inning mark just four times in his 24 collegiate starts.
- ASU has lost just two games in which he has started, going 9-2 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 several straight solid starts
- Fall has gone at least 5.0 innings in all four games since making the transition to weekend starter, including a career ASU best 6.2 innings of shutout ball against Washington State.
- He has posted two consecutive quality starts, the only Sun Devil with multiple quality starts this season.
- Opponents are averaging just a .220 average against Fall this season, good for 10th among Pac-12 pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched.
- His four victories on the year are good for second in the Pac-12 and 34th nationally.
- In his last two starts against two Top-25 offenses in Washington State (8.5 runs per game) and Arizona (9.2 runs per game), Fall has pitched 12.2 innings and allowed just a single earned run between them.
- Fall has induced a team-best six double plays this year.
- Fall has been at his best with two outs, getting out of innings by holding opponents to just 3-of-30 hitting with two outs (.100).
Will I Am
- Will Levine has quickly established himself as one of the top relievers in the Pac-12 this season, entering the weekend with a 2.51 ERA and a 3-1 record off the bench.
- Levine has been at his best in helping the Sun Devils escape jams, inheriting nine runners this season and not allowing any of them to score.
- He has been extremely successful in getting multiple outs with one pitch, inducing five double plays in 14.1 innings - the second-most on the team.
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 34 of the 41 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 29th in the nation and third in the Pac-12 with a 3.51 ERA.
- In ASU's Pac-12 series, opponents are batting just 20-for-90 (.222) with runners in scoring position and just 35-for-178 (.197).
- This week's anomalous midweek tilt against Arizona aside, ASU pitchers have held opponents to just 35-of-229 hitting with two outs (.153)
- 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 eighth 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 (WSU and 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 .978 average this season - good for 29th nationally and fourth in the Pac-12.
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has nearly flawless this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas combining for just two errors on 149 chances this season. The two errors mark are the lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12. No other duo has less than four. ASU's 149 chances on the left side of the infield are fourth-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
#16 Arizona (19-8, 5-4 Pac-12) | Washington (10-14, 2-7 Pac-12) | ASU (16-8, 5-4 Pac-12)
Tuesday, Apriul 6, 6 p.m. | Arizona State at #16 Arizona (Tucson) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Friday, April 9, 7 p.m. | Arizona State at Washington (Seattle) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Saturday, April 10, 5 p.m. | Arizona State at Washington (Seattle) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Sunday, April 11, 12 p.m. | Arizona State at Washington (Seattle) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Tuesday, April 13, TBD | Arizona State at UNLV (Las Vegas) | TBD
Friday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Stanford (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Saturday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Stanford (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Sunday, April 18, 12:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Stanford (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Thursday, April 1, 6 p.m. | Arizona State vs. #16 Arizona (Phoenix) | L, 5-10
Friday, April 2, 6 p.m. | Arizona State vs. #16 Arizona (Phoenix) | L, 6-7
Saturday, April 3, 7 p.m.. | Arizona State vs. #16 Arizona (Phoenix) | W, 3-2