"Long" Balls Again Lead Sun Devil Baseball Past Utah, 10-6
SALT LAKE CITY – Stop us if you've heard this before: Sun Devil Baseball came out victorious over the Utah Utes thanks to a go-ahead homer to opposite field from freshman Ethan Long. For the second game in a row, Long broke up a 4-4 tie with a "long" ball – one of his two on the day – and ASU took the series over the Utes on Saturday in Salt Lake City with a 10-6 victory.
The theatrics didn't come quite as late in the game today, as Long's go-ahead shot put ASU (22-12, 10-7 Pac-12) up for good in the fifth inning as opposed to the ninth. But it was a theme for the day for the Sun Devils, which registered a season-high 17 hits and four home runs – two by Long.
Long, Drew Swift and Sean McLain all registered four hits in the game – an especially noticeable achievement as no play in the ASU roster had recorded a four-hit game this season prior to Jack Moss' effort last night. McLain and Hunter Jump added homers as well with McLain pacing the team with four RBIs.
The Sun Devil bullpen – like it has all season – proved to be invaluable in limiting the damage after a shaking couple of opening frames from the starter. Utah drew four walks in the first four frames and all four of those walks would end up scoring as the Utes tied the game at 4-4 despite having only two hits to that point.
Jared Glenn provided the stability the staff needed, something he has done quite a bit of in road Pac-12 series this year. Glenn went 3.0 innings, allowing just one hit and one run to improve to 4-0 on the season.
THE BIG MOMENT
It was a little bit of déjà vu for ASU, just not coming quite as late in the game. After Utah had rallied from an early 4-0 lead to tie things at 4-4, Ethan Long stepped to the plate in the top of the fifth after a Sean McLain single and for the second time in as many nights, provided the go-ahead homer on a shot to opposite right field. The homer put ASU up 6-4 and gave it a lead it would not relinquish in the contest. Long followed it up with a monstrous insurance shot in the seventh inning to give himself three homers on the day and his first career four hit game.
- Hunter Haas extended his hitting streak to a team-best 14 straight games and it was his sixth-straight multi-hit game.
- Hunter Jump extended his reached base streak to a team-best 20 straight games with his seventh inning tater.
- Ethan Long became the first Sun Devil to have multiple homers in a game this season. He has three for the series, two of which proving the go-ahead runs in the first two games of the year.
- Heading into the weekend, no player had a four-hit game on the year until Jack Moss on Friday night. On Saturday, THREE other players added to that list in Drew Swift, Sean McLain and Ethan Long.
- The Sun Devils recorded a season-high 17 hits in the effort.
- 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 13 games and shaving over 10 points off his ERA in the process as it now sits at 3.00.
- ASU has stranded 294 opponent baserunners in 34 games this season (8.6 per game).
- ASU added two more doubles in the game and now have 28 in the last nine games (3.1 per game). The team had averaged just 1.8 doubles per game in the first 25 games of the season.
- The Sun Devil pitching staff has inherited 135 baserunners this season and allowed just 37 to score (27.6). Just one of the four inherited runners on Friday against the Utes scored.
- Jared Glenn moved to 3-0 in relief in his Pac-12 road appearances this year, with just one run allowed in 15.1 innings pitched in victories over #16 Oregon, Washington (16 innings) and now Utah.
- Glenn has a 2.57 ERA in Pac-12 games with a 3-0 record in 21.0 innings pitched.
- Will Levine has inherited 12 baserunners this year and just one of those has scored.
The Sun Devils will look to claim the sweep tomorrow in Salt Lake City with a 12 p.m. AZT first pitch.
The Sun Devils came out swinging from the very first pitch – literally. Drew Swift knocked a single on the first pitch of the game and two batters later Sean McLain went yard for his fifth homer of the year and an early 2-0 lead. Ethan Long doubled after that and scored on a Hunter Haas RBI single to give ASU an early 3-0 lead. Justin Fall delivered just what ASU needed with a 1-2-3 frame in the bottom half of the inning.
Drew Swift reached again on a one-out double and again it was McLain who brought him home with a two-out RBI single to make it 4-0. Two Utah walks would score following an RBI double and a sac fly, making it 4-2.
Jack Moss got a leadoff single but a groundout and double play ended the threat. Another walk bit the Devils as a stolen base, groundout, groundout brought it across to bring the Utes back within 4-3.
Drew Swift notched his third hit of the game, a two-out single, but that was the extent of the ASU action. Yet again, a walk scored for the Utah on a two-out walk that moved to second on an error by Fall and scored on an RBI double after.
Sean McLain knocked his third hit of the game and Ethan Long inspired some déjà vu as he went oppo taco for a two-run go-ahead shot to make it 6-4. Jared Glenn needed just five pitches for a 1-2-3 frame in the fifth.
The Devils went down in order, but Glenn did the same to the Utah order as he retired the first seven batters he faced.
Hunter Jump had an exceptional at bat, working a full count and fouling off several pitches to stay alive before giving one a ride over the wall in right to make it 7-4. Ethan Long followed that up with an absolute no-doubter to left field in which the outfielders didn't even both to move to make it 8-4. Utah got one back after a leadoff single reached on what looked to be a sweet play by Drew Swift in the hole but the umpire ruled Jack Moss off the bag at first. The run would score on a two-out single later in the inning. ASU avoided further damage after Sam Ferri picked the runner at second off the bag to keep ASU on top by three.
Sam Ferri worked a leadoff walk and eventually would come around and score on a two-out Swift RBI single – his fourth hit of the day to make it 9-5. Dennie worked a 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strikeouts.
ASU continued to add insurance with a leadoff triple from Hunter Jump which would score on a Sean McLain sac fly. Utah again pushed a leadoff walk in for a score, but Will Levine was able to come in and stifle any comeback efforts.