Pivotal Pac-12 Series Awaits Sun Devil Baseball vs. Beavers
PHOENIX -- A pivotal Pac-12 series awaits Sun Devil Baseball this weekend as it hosts Oregon State in a three-game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium beginning on Friday evening. The series will get underway Friday at 6:30 p.m. AZT and continue at the same time on Sunday before wrapping up the set Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. ASU is 10-3 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 162 baserunners this year and allowed only 47 to score (29.0 percent) - third-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 eight errors on the left side of the infield on 306 chances - fewest in the Pac-12
5. ASU is 21st nationally with 92 doubles this year, notable as it had just 45 in the first 25 games and 47 in the last 18.
6. ASU is batting .293 this season - 34th nationally - and have double digits hits in 14 of the last 19 games. It had just 10 in first 24 games.
7. ASU had just 16 home runs in the first 23 games of the year (0.70 per game). It now has 28 in the last 20 games (1.40 per game).
8. ASU is currently second in the nation in turning 47 doubles plays this season - notable as it had just six in the first 14 games.
9. ASU has stranded 365 opponent baserunners in 43 games this season, averaging just about 8.5 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 .293 as a team – notable as the 10 youngest Power Five programs outside of ASU are batting a combined .263.
28 - ASU has 28 homers in the last 20 games (1.40 per game) after it had just 16 home runs in the first 23 games of the year (0.70 per game). ASU has 48 doubles in the last 17 games (2.8 per game). It averaged just 1.8 doubles per game in the first 26 games of the year. ASU enters the weekend 21st nationally with 92 doubles. The Sun Devils are batting .293 as a team this year, 34th nationally and third in the Pac-12. The Devils have now posted double-digit hits in 14 of its last 19 games. ASU had just 10 double-digit hitting games in the first 24 games of the year.
13 - Ethan Long is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 13 home runs this season. He has had as good of a last month of baseball as anyone in the nation. After ASU's series finale at Washington on April 11, Long had just one home run - three shy of the team lead - and was 7th on the team with just 12 RBIs. On May 11, Long has 45 RBIs – 13 more than any other player on the roster – and 13 home runs – seven more than any other player on the team. He now has 11 home runs in his last 11 games and passed Barry Bonds (11) for second on ASU's all-time freshman homer list.
8 - 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 second on the team with five wins this season - tied for fourth in the Pac-12.
In The Rankings
ASU remains in the Top-30 in Collegiate Baseball News' weekly poll, checking in at No. 22 this week and receiving votes in the NCBWA and USA Today Coaches Poll. The team checks in at No. 33 in this week's Warren Nolan Live RPI.
Follow the Action
- All games will be available streamed online through ASU's Pac-12 Live Stream
- The series willbe available 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 Beavers
- ASU leads the all-time series against the Beavers, 50-39 though Oregon State has won 8 of the last 10 in the series. ASU has not won a series against OSU since taking 2-of-3 in Phoenix in 2015.
- The teams are meeting in the month of May for the first time since 2010 when ASU won twice in the three-game series.
- OSU comes into the series fourth in the Pac-12 but just 1 1/2 games out of first. Arizona State, at 12-9 in league play, is one game back of the Beavers.
- Oregon State's pitching staff has a 2.71 earned run average in 19 true road games this season.
- The Beavers are tied for fifth nationally allowing just 6.7 hits per game.
- OSU also ranks tied for seventh at just 0.7 errors per game.
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift has recorded hits in 37 of 42 games played this season and enters the weekend with a .331 average and a active-team best eight-game hitting streak.
- His slugging percentage sits at .486 - 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 five homers this season (including each of the last two games) after just having one in his first three seasons combined.
- Swift is second on the team with 32 RBIs this season and and leads the team with 18 two-out RBI as well. His 35 runs scored are also lead the team
- He has reached base on 26 out of 67 leadoff opportunities this season (.388).
- Swift has 18 games this season with multiple hits - second on the team. He has multiple hits in 26 of his last 51 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he has just five errors on 192 chances (.971) with 127 assists and 32 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 (2 errors on 118 chances) and Utah's Matt Richardson (3 errors on 122 chances).
- His 127 assists are tied for third in the Pac-12 and his 32 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 .360 average on the year, good for 9th in the Pac-12. He has a .383 average in Pac-12-only games - good for sixth in the league.
- McLain leads the team in multi-hit games this year with 21 - three more than any of his teammates. His eight multi-RBI games are second on the team.
- McLain holds an active 11-game reached base streak, the longest on the team.
- McLain has 16 doubles on the year, tied for fourth in the Pac-12 and 18th nationally and his .584 slugging percentage this year is also 8th in the league.
- He is first on the team with 20 hits with two outs on 52 chances (.385).
- McLain has stranded just 19 runners on the base path this year, lowest among the team starters.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 52.8 percent of the time (47-of-89 chances).
- He has just six errors on 212 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield . His 212 chances are second among Pac-12 second-basemen - one back of the league lead 0 despite missing several games.
- He has turned 38 double plays this season, tops among league second-basemen and 13 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 17 multi-hit games are third 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 seven more than any other player (and come on 53 chances for a .434 average).
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run seven times this season in ASU's 28 wins.
- He has been significantly better in clutch scenarios with a .380 average with runners on the basepath and an incredible .434 average with RISP compared to just a .213 average when the bases are empty.
- He is third on the team with seven multi-RBI games this year.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 50 times on 96 opportunities this season for a .521 average.
- Haas has been nearly perfect over at the hot corner, with just two errors on 110 total chances while playing at third base. His lone other error on the year came in a spot start at shortstop. He is tied for first among third basemen in the Pac-12 with just two errors (at third base).
- His nine 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 44 times on 85 chances (.518).
- 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 has been ASU's best player with a runner on third and less than two outs with 11 RBI - two more than any other player on the team - and a .647 average on 17 chances.
We Want EZ
- 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 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 .373 average - 7th in the Pac-12.
- His .780 slugging percentage leads the Pac-12 and is sixth nationally.
- Long has 11 homers in his last 11 games and leads the Pac-12 with 13 home runs on the season - good for 22nd nationally. The 13 home runs surpassed Barry Bonds (11) for second in ASU freshmen history.
- Long has had as good of a last month of baseball as anyone in the nation. After ASU's series finale at Washington on April 11, Long had just one home run - three shy of the team lead - and was 7th on the team with just 12 RBIs. On May 11, Long has 45 RBIs – 13 more than any other player on the roster – and 13 home runs – seven more than any other player on the team.
- There are 139 D1 players with double digit home runs this season with the average of that Top-139 being 156 at-bats on the year. Long has just 118.
- Only Northwestern's Stephen Hrustich (10 on 95) and Florida State's Elijah Cabell (13 on 117) have fewer at-bats among the Top-139 in homers this year.
- Long is homering once every 9.1 at-bats this season - the eighth-best clip in the nation.
- Long is 49th in the country with 45 RBIs. Again, it should be noted that the average of the Top-50 in the nation in the category is 164.5 ABs compared to Long's 118. Only Creighton's Alan Roden (44 RBIs on 106 ABs) has fewer at-bats than Long among the Top-50 nationally in the category.
- His 12 multi-RBI games this season are tops on the team this year and four more than any other player
- He is second on the team with 16 base hits with runners in scoring position on 40 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 occurrence in 2019.
- Hunter Jump got off to a bit of a slow start but has come on strong with hits in 31 of his last 36 games.
- He had a 23-game reached base streak snapped two weeks ago, the second-longest for a Sun Devil this year.
- Jump has drawn a team-high 21 walks on the season, a big reason that his OBP is nearly 100 points higher than his average (.299/.396).
- 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 59.0 innings pitched this year, striking out a team-best 65 - 28 more than any other player on the team.
- Thornton has given ASU at least 5.0 innings in 10 of his 14 starts 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-66 hitting with a chance to close out an inning (.197).
- 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 six of nine games since making the transition to weekend starter, including a then-career ASU best 6.2 innings of shutout ball against Washington State before topping it with ASU's first complete game since 2019 in a win over Cal.
- He posted three consecutive quality starts, the only Sun Devil with multiple quality starts this season against Washington State, Arizona and Washington. He has four quality start on the year
- His six 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 nine double plays this year.
- Fall has been at his best with two outs, getting out of innings by holding opponents to just 8-of-56 hitting with two outs (.143). He also has excelled about not giving up hits with runners on the basepath, holding opponents to .229 batting with runners (19-of-83).
- Fall is 12th in the Pac-12 with a .240 average against him and 11th with a 3.54 ERA
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 second on the team with five wins this season - tied for fourth 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 fourth 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 41 of the 61 (67.2 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 108-of-462 hitting with two outs on the year (.234) - 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 167 baserunners on the year and allowed just 47 to score (29.0 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 (15/3), Jared Glenn (19/3) and Brady Corrigan (18/3).
- The Sun Devil staff has stranded 365 runners on the basepath in 43 games, averaging just about 8.5 LOB per game.
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.
- Against Cal, Kai Murphy was the first Sun Devil pitcher to hold an opponent to just one hit in at least 7.0 innings since Ryan Hingst's no-hitter in 2016.
- Only 8 ASU pitchers have gone 7.0 innings with one or fewer hits since AT LEAST 1998. None did so in their first career start like Murphy.
Bats Coming Alive
- ASU had just 16 home runs in the first 23 games of the year (0.70 per game). It now has 28 in the last 20 games (1.40 per game). ASU is now third in the league with its 44 homers this year.
- ASU has 48 doubles in the last 17 games (2.8 per game). It averaged just 1.8 doubles per game in the first 26 games of the year. ASU enters the weekend 21st nationally with 92 doubles.
- The Sun Devils are batting .293 as a team this year, 34th nationally and third in the Pac-12.
- The Devils have now posted double-digit hits in 14 of its last 19 games. ASU had just 10 double-digit hitting games in the first 24 games of the year.
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 .976 fielding percentage this season - good for 35th nationally
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have combined for just eight errors on 306 chances this season. The eight errors mark the lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12.
- ASU's 306 chances on the left side of the infield are second-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
- ASU is now second in the nation with 47 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 41 double plays in the last 29 games.
- Sean McLain (38), Drew Swift (32) and Hunteer Haas (9) all lead their respective positions in the Pac-12 in double plays turned. McLain and Swift are first and third in the league in the category, regardless of position - incredibly notable as first basemen tend to lead the way in the area.
- Both McLain and Swift have 127 defensive assists this year, tied for third in the Pac-12.
- ASU is 25-8 this year with one or fewer errors compared to 3-7 with two or more.
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 .293 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 and Ethan Long would all move into ASU's all-time top-10 for freshmen batting averages.
- As far as the pitching staff, 151.3 of ASU's 221 bullpen innings this year have come from pitching.