Ethan Long Earns Pac-12 and National Player of the Week Nods...Again
PHOENIX – For the third time this season, Sun Devil Baseball's Ethan Long has been named the Pac-12 Player of the Week while being additionally named one of Collegiate Baseball News' National Players of the Week for the second time this season.
Long is the only player in the Pac-12 to earn multiple Pac-12 Player of the Week nods this season, let alone three. He is the first Pac-12 player to win the honor three times in a season since Hunter Bishop in 2019. Andrew Vaughn of Cal was the last non-Sun Devil to accomplish the feat thrice in one season in 2018 when he was eventually named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
Long homered for times over four games in the last week, the biggest of which coming on a three-run walk-off shot to stun #23 Oregon State on Friday night in a 9-6 come-from-behind victory. He had a three-run homer and five RBIs against a Top-40 RPI Nevada team on Tuesday, proving to be the difference in a 14-11 slugfest. He came right back with two home runs against Oregon State on Saturday to help lead ASU to a convincing 11-5 victory to take the series. At one point, between his walk-off homer on Friday and homering in his first two at-bats Saturday, Long had three long balls on just five pitches.
Long is the national leader in slugging percentage at .838 – 26 points higher than any other player - and 10th in home runs at 16 – notable as 15 of those have come in his last month of action. He is fourth in the league (37th nationally) in average at .385 and also fourth in the league and 24th nationally in RBI (52).
These numbers are made all the more incredible knowing that after the Washington series concluded on April 11, he had just one home run and 12 RBIs on the year after entering the season as the team's closer and posting four saves and no earned runs in the opening week of action before going down with a minor injury that has kept him off the bump since.
Long finished the weekend improving his stock in Pac-12 league-only games as he now sits first in the league in average (.400), homers (9), and slugging (.850), third in RBI (27) and fifth in OBP (.479). His .850 in Pac-12 games is 100 points higher than any other player in the league. He is the only player in the Pac-12 in the top-five in all five categories.
With all games included, Long is first in the Pac-12 in homers (16) and slugging (.838), and fourth in average (.385) and RBI (52).
Long is responsible for the go-ahead RBI in seven Sun Devil victories this season – three coming against ranked opponents (#16 Oregon, #18 Stanford and #23 Oregon State) and four coming by way of the long ball. He has two go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning of games this year.
Behind Long's bat, ASU has won four straight weekend series. He began getting hot with his go-ahead two-RBI eighth inning double off potential Stanford All-American closer Zach Grech on April 16. In the 19-game stretch that started that night, Long is batting .444 with 40 RBI, 15 home runs, eight doubles, a 1.181 slugging percentage, a .500 OBP and an absurd 1.681 OPS. Of his 32 hits in that span, 23 have been for extra bases.
There are currently 26 players in Division I baseball with 15 or more home runs, including Long. Long has done so on 130 at-bats. The other 25 have done so on an average of 169.6 at-bats this season. Of those 26 players, Long also has the highest average at .385 compared to just .316 for the rest of the group. His .838 slugging percentage also crushes the crowd with the 25 others averaging a .684 percentage.
Of the 40 Division I players with at least 50 RBIs this season, Long's 52 on 130 at-bats against stands out with the average of the rest sitting at 180 at-bats. In fact, Long has 16 fewer ABs than any other player on that list. Long's 0.4 RBIs per at-bat this season easily leads the group.
The Sun Devils head to SoCal this weekend for a three-game series at USC beginning Friday evening on the Pac-12 Network.