Four Road Games in Utah Await Sun Devil Baseball
SALT LAKE CITY -- Sun Devil Baseball will conclude a stretch of six games in seven days and five straight road games this weekend as it heads to Salt Lake City to square off in a Pac-12 series against the Utah Utes before taking on BYU in a non-conference midweek tilt on Monday. The series against the Utes gets underway on Friday at 5 p.m. AZT, followed Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m. The Monday contest against the Cougars will get underway at 10 a.m. AZT.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. Dating back to last year, ASU has held opponents to five runs or fewer in 38 of the 49 games since Jason Kelly's arrival.
2. The ASU bullpen has inherited 126 baserunners this year and allowed only 35 to score (27.8 percent) - the lowest total in at least 24 years.
3. Hunter Haas enters the weekend riding a 12-game hitting streak - the longest active streak on the team
4. Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have committed just six errors on the left side of the infield on 217 chances - the second-fewest in the Pac-12
5. Cam Dennie has allowed just one earned run over his last 11 games, lowering his ERA from 13.50 to 3.50 in the process.
6. ASU has lost just three game in which Tyler Thornton has started, going 10-3 in those games going back to last year.
7. Will Levine has inherited 11 runners this season and just one has scored. He has induced a team-high 7 double plays in 23.2 innings pitched
8. ASU leaders in limiting scoring when inheriting baserunners: Levine (11/1), Glenn (15/2), Bodlovich (14/4).
9. ASU had four shutouts this season, its most since 2013 and good for tops in the Pac-12 and 15th in the country.
10. Joe Lampe has advanced 20 baserunners with an out this season - eight more than any other player on the roster.
BY THE NUMBERS
38 - ASU has held its opponents to 5 runs or fewer in 38 of the 49 games since Jason Kelly joined the staff. For perspective, ASU gave up six or more runs in 25 of its 57 games in 2019 and 28 of 55 during the 2018 season ASU has been efficient at getting out of innings for the most part, holding opponents to 74-of-349 hitting with two outs on the year (.212). ASU's pitchers have done their part to throw strikes and pitch to contact and let the defense handle the rest behind them and that shows in the fact that ASU is currently 17th in the nation with 29 double plays on the year.
35 - ASU has also done an excpetional job in not letting innings spiral out of control when turning to the pen with runners on the basepath. The bullpen has inherited 126 baserunners on the year and allowed just 35 to score (27.8 percent). For reference, the lowest percentages in the category at ASU since at least 1998 were 28.1 in 2010 and 28.5 in 2011. Leading that charge is Will Levine (11/1), Jared Glenn (15/2) and Christian Bodlovich (14/4). Much of that success comes from getting outs on the first batter faced: Levine (11-of-14), Glenn (11-of-14) and Bodlovich (13-of-14).
17 - Hunter Haas' 17 hits with runners in scoring position are easily the most on the team and six more than any other player (and come on 38 chances for a .447 average). Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 39 times - seven more than any other player - on 71 opportunities this season for a .549 average. He is riding an active 12-game hitting streak, tops on the team. Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run six times this season - including each of the three games against Fullerton. No other Sun Devil has more than three.
6 - The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have combined for just six errors on 217 chances this season. The six errors mark the second-lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12, behind Oregon's five on 198 chances.. ASU's 217 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12. Haas one error while playing third base (he had another in a spot start at shortstop) are the fewest of any Pac-12 third baseman.
In The Rankings
ASU remains in the Top-25 in Collegiate Baseball News' weekly poll, checking in at No. 23 this week and receiving votes in the NCBWA and USA Today Coaches Poll. The team checks in at No. 34 in this week's Warren Nolan Live RPI.
Follow the Action
- All games will be available via some form of stream with Utah hosted all three games through the Pac-12 Live Stream while Monday's tilt will be available through the BYUtv app.
- There will be no radio games 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.
On The Utes/Cougars
- ASU swept a three-game non-conference series against Utah earlier this season and now leads the overall series 46-12.
- Since Pac-12 play has started, Matt Richardson has been constantly on base and has raised his season average to a team-leading .358. His OPS also leads the team at .930. Batting in the nine hole, the junior leads the team in the 12 conference games with a .393 average and six RBI.
- Jayden Kiernan has been steady at the plate all season and is second on the team hitting .325. The catcher has started in every game at either catcher or first and has 10 RBI and four doubles. He has hits in 26 of the 30 games this season.
- ASU is 46-10 in the all-time series against BYU, having last played the Cougars in a 2013 midweek loss, 8-3. Despite the long history between the two, ASU has not played a game in Provo since the 1972 WAC Playoffs.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 27 of 31 games played this season and enters the weekend with a .320 average.
- His slugging percentage sits at .453 - 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 three homers this season after just having one in his first three seasons combined.
- Swift leads the team with 21 RBIs this season and paces the way with 13 two-out RBI as well. His 25 runs scored are also a team-best.
- Swift saw his 22-game reached base streak ended against GCU on Wednesday. It was the second-longest streak of the season.
- He has reached base on 20 out of 47 leadoff opportunities this season (.426)
- Swift has 13 games this season with multiple hits - second on the team. He has multiple hits in 21 of his last 42 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he has just four errors on 135 chances (.970) with 87 assists and 18 double plays turned. His four errors are fourth among Pac-12 shortstops, though he has more chances than those ahead of him in USC's Tyler Pritchard (0 errors on 77 chances), Utah's Matt Richardson (1 error on 87 chances) and Oregon Josh Kasevich (3 errors on 132 chances). His 18 double plays are also tied for 4th among league shortstops.
- 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 recorded a 23-game hitting streak this season - tied for the third-longest at ASU since 1998 with Andre Ethier's 2003 23-game hitting streak.
- He leads the team with a .360 average on the year, good for ninth in the Pac-12.
- McLain has 12 doubles on the year, tied for third in the Pac-12 and 34th nationally and his .588 slugging percentage this year is 11th in the league.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners 53.3 percent of the time (32-of-60 chances).
- He has just four errors on 155 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield . His 155 chances are third among Pac-12 second-basemen despite missing several games.
- He has turned 23 double plays this season, tops among league second-basemen and three more than any of the others.
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 .313 average and riding a team-best active hitting streak of 12 straight games.
- His is second on the team with 20 RBIs and third with 23 runs scored. his 12 multi-hit games are third on the roster. His 13 two-out RBI are tied for the team lead.
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run six times this season - including each of the three games against Fullerton. No other Sun Devil has more than three.
- Haas has struck out just 15 times this season, marking him the sixth-toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12 - doing so just once every 8.5 at bats this year.
- His 17 hits with runners in scoring position are easily the most on the team and six more than any other player (and come on 38 chances for a .447 average).
- His four-RBI effort against Nevada is tied for the most for a Sun Devil this season and he is second with five multi-RBI games.
- Haas has been ASU's best hitter with two outs, recording 15 hits on 37 chances (.405).
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 39 times - seven more than any other player - on 71 opportunities this season for a .549 average.
- He has been significantly better in clutch scenarios with a .391 average with runners on the basepath compared to just a .220 average when they are empty.
- Haas has been nearly perfect over at the hot corner, with just one error on 79 total chances while playing at third base. His other error on the year came in a spot start at shortstop. He is the only third basemen in the Pac-12 with just one error (at third base). His five double plays turned are second among Pac-12 third basemen.
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 is tied for third on the team with 19 RBIs this year.
- He and Jack moss are the only players on the team with multiple three-hit games this year with Lampe pacing the way with three of them.
- Lampe has stranded just 13 runners on the base path this year and successfully advanced runners 31 times on 58 chances (.534).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 20 runners advanced with an out this year - eight more than any other player on the roster.
- He is 15th in the nation and second in the league with three triples this year.
- His five sac flies this year are tops in the Pac-12 and seven in the nation.
- His is also seventh in the league with 11 doubles this year.
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 had four saves early in the season - still the team lead - and did not allow a run as a pitcher
- But of late, Long has established himself as one of the hottest hitters in the lineup and enters the weekend with a .301 average.
- Despite having just having 40+ fewer at-bats than the majority of the Sun Devil starters, Long is second on the team with 11 base hits with runners in scoring position on 26 chances (.423) and his 18 RBI are just three off the Pac-12 lead.
- He has four sacrifice flies this season, third in the Pac-12 and 28th in the nation.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong with hits in 23 of his last 27 games.
- He leads the team in having reached base in 18 consecutive games.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 14 walks on the season and leads the team with six multi-RBI games.
- His 10 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 44.1 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 47.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in 10 of his 13 outings at ASU. In fact, including his 13 starts at Saint Mary's, Thornton has failed to reach the five-inning mark just five times in his 26 collegiate starts.
- ASU has lost just three games in which he has started, going 10-3 in those games.
- Thornton's success has come largely from not allowing innings to spiral out of control as he has been electric with two outs, holding opponents to just 4-for-45 hitting with a chance to close out an inning (.089).
- 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 becoming a pivotal part of the weekend rotations
- Fall has gone at least 5.0 innings in five of six games since making the transition to weekend starter, including a career ASU best 6.2 innings of shutout ball against Washington State.
- He posted three consecutive quality starts, the only Sun Devil with multiple quality starts this season against Washington State, Arizona and Washington.
- His five victories on the year are good for second in the Pac-12 and 40th nationally.
- In two starts against two Top-25 offenses in Washington State (8.5 runs per game) and Arizona (9.2 runs per game), Fall pitched 12.2 innings and allowed just a single earned run between them.
- Fall has induced a team-best seven double plays this year.
- Fall has been at his best with two outs, getting out of innings by holding opponents to just 5-of-41 hitting with two outs (.122). He also has excelled about not giving up hits with runners on the basepath, holding opponents to .200 batting with runners (12-of-60).
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 team-best 2.28 ERA and a 3-2 record off the bench.
- Levine has been at his best in helping the Sun Devils escape jams, inheriting 11 runners this season and allowing just one of them to score.
- He has been extremely successful in getting multiple outs with one pitch, inducing seven double plays in 23.2 innings - tied for the team lead despite being a reliever.
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 38 of the 49 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 and 28 of its 55 games in 2018.
- ASU has been efficient at getting out of innings for the most part, holding opponents to 74-of-349 hitting with two outs on the year (.212).
- ASU has also done an excpetional job in not letting innings spiral out of control when turning to the ben with baserunners being inherited. The bullpen has inherited 126 baserunners on the year and allowed just 35 to score (27.8 percent). For reference, the lowest percentages in the category since at least 1998 was 28.1 in 2010 and 28.5 in 2011.
- Leading that charge has been Will Levine (11/1), Jared Glenn (15/2) and Christian Bodlovich (14/4).
- 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.
- The Sun Devil staff threw up 15 zeroes in the fourth-longest game by innings in program history against Washington - allowing two runs in the seventh before blanking the Huskies in seven extra innings.
- ASU set a program record with 12 pitchers used in the second game against GCU - with 11 pitching changes setting an NCAA record for a game featuring two Division I teams and one shy of the overall record of 12.
More on the Staff
- It wasn't the most auspicious start to the season for Cam Dennie with six runs allowed in his first five appearances and a 13.50 ERA through that point. Dennie has settled in to a nice groove since though, allowing just one earned run over his last 11 games and shaving exactly 10 points off his ERA in the process as it now sits at 3.50.
- 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 15th 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-Non-Conference). 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.
- The Sun Devil staff has stranded 280 runners on the basepath in 32 games, averaging just over 8.8 LOB per game.
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 .977 fielding percentage this season - good for 37th nationally
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas combining for just six errors on 217 chances this season. The six errors mark the second-lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12, behind Oregon's five on 198 chances.. ASU's 217 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
- The Sun Devils turned have turned eight double plays in the last five games and now have 29 on the year – notable as it only had six in the first 14 games of the season and have now posted 23 in the last 18 games.
- The 29 double plays are 17th nationally.
Grand Canyon (22-14-1, 16-4 WAC) | Utah (8-21, 4-11 Pac-12) | BYU (11-20, 6-6 WCC) | ASU (19-11, 8-7 Pac-12)
Tuesday, April 20, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Grand Canyon (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Wednesday, April 21, 6 p.m. | Arizona State at Grand Canyon (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: FOX 10 XTRA (CH. 45 / CABLE 9), ESPN3 | KDUS 1060 AM
Friday, April 23, 5 p.m. | Arizona State at Utah (Salt Lake City) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Saturday, April 24, 3 p.m. | Arizona State at Utah (Salt Lake City) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Sunday, April 25, 12 p.m. | Arizona State at Utah (Salt Lake City) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream
Monday, April 26, 10 a.m. | Arizona State at BYU (Provo) | WATCH LIVE: BYUtv App
Friday, April 30, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Rhode Island (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Saturday, May 1, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Rhode Island (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Sunday, May 2, 12:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. Rhode Island (Phoenix) | WATCH LIVE: Pac-12 Live Stream | KDUS 1060 AM
Friday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. #18 Stanford (Phoenix) | W, 9-5
Saturday, April 17, 6:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. #18 Stanford (Phoenix) | L, 9-11 (12)
Sunday, April 18, 12:30 p.m. | Arizona State vs. #18 Stanford (Phoenix) | L, 5-13