Sun Devil Baseball Kicks off Final Month of Regular Season at Cal
BERKELEY -- Sun Devil Baseball will settle in for the homestretch of the 2021 season as it kicks off the final month of regular season action on the road against the Cal Golden Bears beginning on Friday, May 7. The opener is set to get underway at 6 p.m. AZT with the middle game slated for 3 p.m. The finale is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
ASU will then head straight over to Nevada following the series for its final non-conference game of the season with a midweek tilt against the Wolfpack in Reno on Tuesday at 12 p.m. AZT.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. ASU is 8-3 in weekend series this season with the three series losses coming in three series splits to Top-25 teams (ORE, ARIZ, STAN).
2. The ASU bullpen has inherited 154 baserunners this year and allowed only 42 to score (27.2 percent) - the lowest total in at least 24 years.
3. The Sun Devils are fielding the second-youngest lineup among Power Five teams this year with freshmen representing 65.1% of the team ABs.
4. Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have commit just seven errors on the left side of the infield on 268 chances - fewest in the Pac-12
5. ASU has 4 doubles in the last 14 games (3.1 per game) after averaging just 1.8 doubles per game in the first 25 games of the season.
6. ASU is batting .294 this season - 32nd nationally - and have double digits hits in 12 of the last 15 games. It had just 10 in first 24 games.
7. Brady Corrigan has inherited 15 runners this season and just one has scored. Similarly, Will Levine has just one allowed on 13 inherited.
8. ASU is currently four in the nation in turning 39 doubles plays this season - notable as it had just six in the first 14 games.
9. ASU has stranded 341 opponent baserunners in 39 games this season, averaging just over 8.7 per game.
10. Jared Glenn has the fourth-lowest ERA in the Pac-12 in league only games at 2.57. He is 3-0 in such games, all coming on the road.
BY THE NUMBERS
65 - Sun Devil baseball is fielding the second-youngest lineup among all Power-Five teams with freshmen representing 65.1 percent of the Sun Devil at-bats this season. Only Virginia Tech's 74.1 percent is higher. In fact, only three teams have over 50 percent of their at-bats registered by freshmen. All other Power Five programs combined average just 21.8 percent of their total at bats represented by freshmen. Despite that, ASU is batting .294 as a team – notable as the 10 youngest Power Five programs outside of ASU are batting a combined .263.
42 - ASU has also done an exceptional job in not letting innings spiral out of control when turning to the pen with runners on the basepath. The bullpen has inherited 154 baserunners on the year and allowed just 42 to score (27.2 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 are Brady Corrigan (15/1), Will Levine (13/1), Jared Glenn (19/3) and Christian Bodlovich (14/4). The Sun Devils have stranded opponent 341 baserunners in 39 games this year (8.7 per game).
7 - The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have combined for just seven errors on 268 chances this season. The seven errors mark the fewest for the left side of an infield in the Pac-12 this season. ASU's 258 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12. Both Swift (27) and Haas (7) lead their positions in the league in double plays turned. ASU enters the weekend fifth in the nation in turning 39 double plays and 30th with a .977 fielding percentage.
3 - Jared Glenn has been absolutely exceptional in Pac-12-only games, entering the weekend fourth in the league with a 2.57 ERA in league games and third in the league with three wins. All three Pac-12 victories for Glenn in Pac-12 games have come on the road, with just one run allowed in 15.1 innings pitched in victories over #16 Oregon, Washington (5.0 scoreless in extras in 16 innings), and Utah.Glenn is tied for the team lead with five wins this season - tied for third in the Pac-12.
In The Rankings
ASU remains in the Top-30 in Collegiate Baseball News' weekly poll, checking in at No. 21 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 streamed online through the Cal Pac-12 Live Stream.
- There will be no radio availability for this week's game.
- 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 Golden Bears
- ASU leads the all-time series against the Golden Bears, 121-68.
- Cal is riding a four-game win streak, tied for its longest this season. The streak started last weekend with a sweep at Washington.
- Five of Cal's 14 wins at home this season have been walk-offs, most recently April 2 vs. USC.
- Prior to allowing 10 runs against San Jose State Tuesday, Cal's pitching staff had limited opponents to an average of 2.2 earned runs per game dating back to April 17. Cal has held opponents to three runs or less in nine of its past 11 wins.
- Dylan Beavers has homered in three consecutive games and continues to lead the Pac-12 with 13.
- During Cal's four-game win streak, Darren Baker is batting .625 (10-for-16) with six stolen bases, four runs, three RBI & two doubles.
- After hitting just four home runs over an 11-game span from April 6-24, Cal's bats have exploded with 11 long balls in the past five games played. The Bears have homered at least once in all five games, including a season-high four vs. San Jose State Tuesday.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 33 of 38 games played this season and enters the weekend with a .331 average.
- His slugging percentage sits at .459 - 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 is third on the team with 26 RBIs this season and and leads the team with 15 two-out RBI as well. His 31 runs scored are also lead the team
- He has reached base on 24 out of 59 leadoff opportunities this season (.407).
- Swift has 16 games this season with multiple hits - second on the team. He has multiple hits in 24 of his last 47 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he has just five errors on 171 chances (.971) with 111 assists and 27 double plays turned. His five errors are third among Pac-12 shortstops, though he has significantly more chances than those ahead of him in USC's Tyler Pritchard (0 errors on 105 chances) and Utah's Matt Richardson (2 error on 111 chances).
- His 27 double plays turned are are tops 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 is second on the team with a .364 average on the year, good for 8th in the Pac-12. He has a .388 average in Pac-12-only games - good for seventh in the league.
- McLain has 14 doubles on the year, tied for fifth in the Pac-12 and 37th nationally and his .588 slugging percentage this year is also 10th in the league.
- He is third on the team with 17 hits with two outs on 44 chances (.386).
- McLain has stranded just 15 runners on the base path this year, lowest among the team starters.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 55.8 percent of the time (43-of-77 chances).
- He has just five errors on 187 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield . His 187 chances are fourth among Pac-12 second-basemen despite missing several games.
- He has turned 32 double plays this season, tops among league second-basemen and nine 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 .321 average.
- His is second on the team with 27 RBIs and third with 27 runs scored.
- His 16 multi-hit games are tied for second on the roster. He had a streak of seven straight games with multiple hits in April.
- His 23 hits with runners in scoring position are easily the most on the team and nine more than any other player (and come on 49 chances for a .469 average).
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run seven times this season in ASU's 25 wins.
- He has been significantly better in clutch scenarios with a .402 average with runners on the basepath and in incredible .469 average with RISP compared to just a .217 average when they are empty.
- Haas has been ASU's best hitter with two outs, recording 19 hits on 45 chances (.432) - two more hits than anyone else on the roster. His 15 two-out RBI are tops on the team.
- Haas has struck out just 19 times this season, marking him the fifth-toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12 - doing so just once every 8.2 at bats this year.
- He is second on the team with seven multi-RBI games this year.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 50 times - seven more than any other player - on 91 opportunities this season for a .549 average.
- Haas has been nearly perfect over at the hot corner, with just one error on 97 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 seven double plays turned are tops 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.
- He (3), Ethan Long and Jack Moss are the only players on the team with at least three three-hit games this year.
- Lampe has successfully advanced runners 40 times on 76 chances (.526).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 22 runners advanced with an out this year - six more than any other player on the roster.
- He is fourth in the league with three triples this year.
- His five sac flies this year are second in the Pac-12 and 23rd in the nation.
- He is also 13th in the league with 12 doubles this year.
- He has been ASU's best player with a runner on third and less than two outs with 11 RBI - four more than any other player on the team - and a .647 average on 17 chances.
We Want Eazy
- Ethan Long - the back-to-back defending Pac-12 Player of the Week - 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 one shy of the team lead - and did not allow a run as a pitcher
- But since then, Long has established himself as one of the hottest hitters in the lineup and enters the weekend with a team-leading .369 average.
- His .738 slugging percentage is second in the Pac-12 and 17th nationally.
- He has an active 11-game hitting streak entering the weekend.
- Long has eight homers in his last seven games – becoming the first Sun Devil in program history to accomplish that feat. He also has nine homers in the last ten games.
- Over Long's last seven games, he is slugging at a 1.433 clip and reaching base at a .545 clip, giving him an OPS of 1.978. During that span he also has 18 RBIs, 10 home runs, three doubles, on 16 hits with 11 runs scored.
- Long's ten home runs already place him tied for third with Mike Kelly and only behind Barry Bonds (11) and Spencer Torkelson (25) in ASU freshman history for most homers.
- The 10 home runs are currently third in the Pac-12 and 63rd nationally. However, of the 62 ranked ahead of him only Florida State's Elijah Cabell (11 on 101 ABs) has fewer at-bats than Long. The average total of those 62 players ahead of him in 146.4 ABs.
- Despite having just having 40+ fewer at-bats than the majority of the Sun Devil starters, Long easily leads the team with 36 RBIs - good for sixth in the Pac-12 - though it should be noted the five ahead of him have an average of 156.4 at-bats compared to just 103 for Long.
- In fact, of the current 123 players with more RBIs in D1 Baseball this year, only one has fewer at-bats than Long (Creighton's Alan Roden with 39 RBI in 99 at-bats). The average at-bats of the 123 players ahead of him is 148.5).
- His 10 multi-RBI games this season are tops on the team this year and three more than any other player
- He is second on the team with 14 base hits with runners in scoring position on 35 chances (.400).
- Long became the first Sun Devil since Hunter Bishop in March 2019 to earn back-to-back Pac-12 Player of the Week nods and just the third Sun Devil since 2008 to accomplish it (Ike Davis in 2008).
- Long is the only player to win two Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this year, let alone the only one to do it back-to-back and is the first player in the league to go back-to-back with the award since that Hunter Bishop occurence in 2019.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong with hits in 28 of his last 32 games.
- He had a 23-game reached base streak snapped last weekend, the second-longest for a Sun Devil this year.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 18 walks on the season, a big reason that his OBP is nearly 100 points higher than his average (.285/.383).
- He is third on the team with six multi-RBI games.
- He has at least one RBI in eight of his last nine games and was responsible for the game-winning RBI in 2 of 3 games against Rhode Island.
- 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.
You Don't Know Jack
- Tasked with the unenviable role of replacing the No. 1 Overall pick Spencer Torkelson at first base, Jack Moss has quickly become one of the most consistent batters in the Sun Devil lineup as a true freshman.
- Moss is fourth on the team with a .330 batting average this year.
- However, he is the best hitter on the team in Pac-12-only games. In fact, he is the best hitter in the ENTIRE Pac-12 in league only games, posting a .431 average in Pac-12 games that is 11 points higher than any other player and one of just three players in the league batting over .400 in Pac-12 games.
- His .706 slugging percentage is third in the Pac-12 in leage only games
- He has just one error on 203 chances at first base this year.
- He is the only player on the team with at least four games this season with three or more hits.
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 55.2 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 64 - 32 more than any other player on the team and good for 8th in the conference.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in 10 of his 14 outings at ASU. In fact, including his 13 starts at Saint Mary's, Thornton has failed to reach the five-inning mark just six times in his 27 collegiate starts.
- ASU has lost just three games in which he has started, going 11-3 in those games.
- Thornton came on in relief against Rhode Island, going a season-high seven innings to record the first seven-inning save in program history with a ASU-best 11 strikeouts in the process.
- Thornton's success has come largely from not allowing innings to spiral out of control as he has been solid with two outs, holding opponents to just 13-for-65 hitting with a chance to close out an inning (.200).
- 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 eight 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 third in the Pac-12
- 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 eight double plays this year.
- Fall has been at his best with two outs, getting out of innings by holding opponents to just 6-of-47 hitting with two outs (.128). He also has excelled about not giving up hits with runners on the basepath, holding opponents to .219 batting with runners (16-of-73).
- Fall is 12th in the Pac-12 with a .243 average against him and 16th with a 3.83 ERA
Will I Am
- Will Levine has quickly established himself as one of the top relievers in the Pac-12 this season, entering the weekend leading the team with a 3.29 ERA and leading the way with five saves - fifth in the Pac-12.
- Levine has been at his best in helping the Sun Devils escape jams, inheriting 13 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 27.1 innings - second on the team despite being a reliever.
We Went To Jared
- Jared Glenn has sneakily put up some really impressive numbers in certain areas for the Sun Devils this year with a 4.74 cumulative ERA not truly indicative of his play throughout the season.
- Glenn is tied for the team lead with five wins this season - tied for third in the Pac-12.
- In fact, Glenn has been absolutely exceptional in Pac-12-only games, entering the weekend fourth in the league with a 2.57 ERA in league games and third in the league with three wins.
- All three victories for Glenn in Pac-12 games have come on the road, with just one run allowed in 15.1 innings pitched in victories over #16 Oregon, Washington (5.0 scoreless in extras in 16 innings), and Utah.
- Glenn has given up three runs against a Pac-12 opponent just once this season (3 vs. Wash. St. on March 27).
- Glenn has inherited 19 baserunners this season and allowed just three to score.
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 39 of the 57 (68.4 percent) 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 (43.9 percent) and 28 of its 55 games in 2018 (51 percent).
- ASU has been efficient at getting out of innings for the most part, holding opponents to 100-of-426 hitting with two outs on the year (.235) - the third-lowest total in the category since 2000.
- 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 154 baserunners on the year and allowed just 42 to score (27.2 percent). For reference, the lowest percentages in the category since at least 1998 were 28.1 in 2010 and 28.5 in 2011.
- Leading that charge has been Will Levine (13/1), Jared Glenn (19/3) and Brady Corrigan (15/1).
- The Sun Devil staff has stranded 341 runners on the basepath in 39 games, averaging just over 8.7 LOB per game.
- In Pac-12 games only this season, ASU's bullpen has recorded a 4.45 ERA - the seventh-lowest total since the 2000 season.
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 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 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.
- Tyler Thornton's seven-inning save against Rhode Island was the first in program history. It is a feat record just one time in MLB history since saves began being recorded in 1969.
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 30th nationally
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas combining for just seven errors on 268 chances this season. The seven errors mark the lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12.
- ASU's 268 chances on the left side of the infield are third-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
- ASU is now fifth in the nation with 39 double plays turned this season, which is especially impressive since the team had just six in the first 14 games of the season. The Sun Devils have posted 34 double plays in the last 25 games.
The Kids Will Be Alright
- Sun Devil baseball is fielding the second-youngest lineup among all Power-Five teams with freshmen representing 65.1 percent of the Sun Devil at-bats this season. Only Virginia Tech's 74.1 percent is higher.
- In fact, ASU is one of just three teams among all Power Five programs with a 50 percent or more rate of freshmen ABs (Virginia Tech and Washington). All remaining Power Five programs combined are averaging just 21.8 percent of their at-bats this season from freshmen.
- Despite that, ASU is batting .294 as a team – notable as the 10 youngest Power Five programs outside of ASU are batting a combined .263.
- If the season ended today, Sean McLain, Ethan Long and Jack Moss would all move into ASU's all-time top-10 for freshmen batting averages.
- As far as the pitching staff, 173.0 of ASU's 354.1 innings pitched this year have come by way of freshmen.