Sun Devil Baseball to Make 41st Postseason Appearance in Austin Regional
AUSTIN -- The Sun Devil Baseball program will make its 41st NCAA postseason appearance beginning this weekend as Arizona State was selected as the No. 2 seed in the Austin Regional. The four-team, double-elimination regional at UFCU Disch–Falk Field in Austin, Texas, will begin on Friday.
The Austin Regional, hosted by the University of Texas, also includes No. 3 seed Fairfield and No. 4 seed Southern. The second-seeded Sun Devils will take on Fairfield on Friday at 4 p.m. AZT/6 p.m. CST. The game will be available on ESPN3, and broadcast by NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 in the Phoenix area.
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. ASU was 11-4 in weekend series with all four losses coming to Top-20 teams (three of which were series splits with NCAA hosts)
2. The Sun Devil pitching staff has inherited 189 baserunners this season and allowed just 54 to score (28.6 percent).
3. The Sun Devils are fielding the youngest team in the tournament with freshmen representing 66.3% of the team ABs.
4. Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have commit just 10 errors on the left side of the infield - fewest in the Pac-12 - on 380 chances.
5. ASU is 29th nationally with 107 doubles this year, notable as it had just 45 in the first 25 games and 62 in the last 27.
6. Against 10 Pac-12 pitchers that earned First Team honors, ASU bat .330 on 41-of-124 hitting with those pitchers accounting for an 8.35 ERA.
7. ASU had just 16 home runs in the first 23 games of the year (0.70 per game). It had 42 in the last 29 games (1.4 per game).
8. ASU finished first in the nation in turning 57 doubles plays this season - notable as it had just six in the first 14 games.
9. Drew Swift was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and has not had an error in his last 17 games at short.
10. Ethan Long has become the 129th All-American in Sun Devil history, earning second team honors from Collegiate Baseball.
BY THE NUMBERS
66 - Sun Devil baseball is fielding the second-youngest lineup among all Power-Five teams with freshmen representing 66.3 percent of the Sun Devil at-bats this season. Only Virginia Tech's 72.0 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 21.6 percent of their total at bats represented by freshmen. Despite that, ASU was a Top-50 team in the nation this season in batting average (.287), total hits (514), doubles (107), slugging percentage (.458) and fielding percentage (.976).
13 - The Sun Devils are 13-13 in games in which they are trailing or tied after five innings this season. The 13 wins ties the 2011 squad (13-13) for the most in the category at ASU since 1998. Only the 2007 (10-7) and 2010 (10-9) teams have posted winning records when trailing or tied after five since 1998. Despite not having a true closer, ASU is 29-1 when leading after eight innings and 31-3 when leading or tied after eight. ASU hasn't lost one of those games since the extra-inning loss in the Stanford game on April 17. The only loss when leading after 8 innings came on opening night
10 - The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season with SS Drew Swift and 3B Hunter Haas combining for just 10 errors on 380 chances this season (.974). The 10 errors are the fewest by the left side of an infield in the Pac-12 with Swift second among Pac-12 shortstops with just five errors and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Haas was second in the Pac-12 lead with five. The duo have combined for 51 DPs, also the most of any left side of an infield in the league while the 380 chances were the most in the Pac-12.
3 - The Sun Devils lost their three weekend starters by Week 3 of the season. ASU has not let it faze the roster with seven players making at least 20 appearances this season while having at least 30 innings. The staff has inherited 189 baserunners and only 54 have scored - a 28.6 percentage that is the third-lowest since 1998. The team has stranded 8.4 baserunners per game and 470 baserunners on the season. They also have made the pitches to allow the team to turn a nation-leading 57 double plays this year.
Follow the Action
- All games this weekend will be carried through either the Longhorn Network or ESPN3. All games featuring Texas will be on the Longhorn Network. ASU's opening contest against Fairfield will be avilable online through ESPN3.
- Bob Wischusen and Gregg Olsen will be on the call for the weekend.
- Each game in the regional will be available on the airwaves on 1060 AM KDUS with Tim Healey and Max Rossiter.
- 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 which are expected this weekend.
On The Field
- Friday will mark the first-ever meeting between the Sun Devils and the Stags.
- ASU is 19-29 in a storied history against Texas, including a tough Super Regional loss in Austin in 2011. 10 of the contests in history before the two programs have taken place in the postseason with the teams split evenly at 5-5.
- ASU has never played Southern in program history.
- The Longhorns won their ninth Big 12 Championship on Saturday, May 22, clinching a share of the regular season championship with a 12-2 run-rule win over West Virginia. The Texas pitching staff has compiled a 2.95 ERA, which ranks No. 2 nationally and first in the Big 12 by over a run. The starting pitching trio of Pete Hansen (1.88), Ty Madden (2.66), and Tristan Stevens (2.99) all rank in the top six in ERA in the Big 12, while Stevens' nine wins lead the conference. Madden was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year while David Pierce was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year.
- The Stags will bring statistically one of the best pitching staffs in the country to the Regionals as they lead the country in ERA (2.75) and WHIP (1.03).
Just Like He Drew It Up
- Drew Swift will finish his storied career at ASU as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-League Selection. He is the first Pac-12 DPOY in program history since it was first award in 2013.
- has recorded hits in 43 of 41 games he has played this season and enters the weekend with a .313 average.
- His slugging percentage sits at .469 - 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 six homers this season after just having one in his first three seasons combined.
- Swift is second on the team with 36 RBIs this season and also second with 20 two-out RBI as well. His 40 runs scored are second on the team.
- He has reached base on 31 out of 84 leadoff opportunities this season (.369).
- Swift has 20 games this season with multiple hits - just off the team lead. He has multiple hits in 28 of his last 60 games, dating back to last season.
- Perhaps more impressive has been his defensive play at shortstop where he has just five errors on 242 chances (.978) with 158 assists and 39 double plays turned. His five errors are second among Pac-12 shortstops, though USC's Tyler Pritchard (2 errors on 178 chances) had significantly less opportunities.
- His 158 assists are third in the Pac-12, first among shortstops and just three off the Pac-12 lead. His 39 double plays turned are third in the Pac-12 and tops among shortstops.
- Swift has a 17-game streak without an error at shortstop, dating back to April 27.
- He has 479 defensive assists in his career while helping to turn 115 double plays.
- 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.
- 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.
- McLain earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention honors this week.
- He is second on the team with a .333 average on the year, good for 13th in the Pac-12.
- McLain leads the team in multi-hit games this year with 22. His nine multi-RBI games are second on the team.
- McLain has 17 doubles on the year, good for sixth in the Pac-12.
- He leads the team with 24 hits with two outs on 62 chances (.387).
- McLain has stranded just 21 runners on the base path this year, lowest among the team day-to-day starters by a significant amount.
- McLain has successfully advanced runners a team-best 51.5 percent of the time (52-of-101 chances).
- He has eight errors on 255 chances this year, though one of those errors came while playing in the outfield. Those 255 chances were second among Pac-12 second-basemen - despite missing several games.
- He has turned 46 double plays this season, four more than any other player in the league and 14 more than any other second baseman.
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 .307 average.
- His 20 multi-hit games are second on the roster. He had a streak of seven straight games with multiple hits in April.
- His 26 hits with runners in scoring position are easily the most on the team and eight more than any other player (and come on 64 chances for a .406 average).
- Haas has posted the go-ahead RBI or unassisted go-ahead run seven times this season in ASU's 32 wins.
- He has been significantly better in clutch scenarios with a .371 average with runners on the basepath and a whopping .406 average with RISP compared to just a .240 average when the bases are empty.
- Haas has successfully advanced runners a team-high 56 times on 110 opportunities this season for a .509 average.
- Haas has been nearly perfect over at the hot corner, with just four errors on 132 total chances while playing at third base. His other error on the year came in a spot start at shortstop. He is tied for second among third basemen in the Pac-12 with just four errors (at third base).
- His 12 double plays turned are tops among Pac-12 third basemen.
- Haas was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team as the third baseman.
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 was one of three Sun Devils selected to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team after not posting an error in center field in conference games all year. He finished the season with just one error and a .990 fielding percentage.
- In the opener against USC, Lampe recorded nine putouts - the most by an ASU center fielder since at least 1998. Hunter Bishop had eight in 2019 and no other player had more than seven.
- Lampe has done a solid job turning the order around in the nine-hole with a .376 OBP compared to a .292 average.
- Lampe has successfully advanced runners 50 times on 99 chances (.505).
- He has been absurd at productive outs, recording 23 runners advanced with an out this year - four 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 12 RBI - tops on the team - and a .667 average on 18 chances.
We Want EZ
- Ethan Long became the 129 Sun Devil to be named an All-American with his Second Team selection by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as a designated hitter.
- Long was also a First Team All-Pac-12 pick after he finished the regular season 22nd nationally and second in the Pac-12 with 16 home runs while finishing 13th nationally and leading the league with a .725 slugging percentage on .340 hitting. He was sixth in the league with 53 RBI.
- 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 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 five 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 and lasted until his hitless weekend against USC in the penultimate series, Long bat .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 were for extra bases.
- 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. He was the Unanimous National Player of the Week after the Oregon State series.
Nate the Great
- While Ethan Long has deservedly earned much of the credit for the recent offensive surge, the best player on the team by numbers in the last month has been catcher/utility man Nate Baez.
- In the last 11 games, Baez leads the team with a .412 average with a team-bests in several categories with six homers, 16 RBIs and 1.000 slugging percentage. Those six homers are also his season total, making the surge more impressive.
- He is reaching base at a .523 clip as he also leads the team with nine walks in the recent stretch - three more than any other player.
- All these numbers are notable as he didn't become a fixture in the starting lineup until the Cal series as he has fully taken on his role as the team's backstop, showing off his utility after coming to ASU as an infielder and spending much of his early career there prior to this current stretch.
- Baez abilities earned the redshirt freshman All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention accolades.
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 nine of 12 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 followed that up with 7.1 innings in his win against #23 Oregon State.
- He posted three consecutive quality starts - the only Sun Devil with multiple quality starts this season - against Washington State, Arizona and Washington. He has bumped that up to five with back-to-back quality starts against Cal and #23 OSU.
- His seven 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 14 double plays this year.
- Fall has been at his best with two outs, getting out of innings by holding opponents to just 15-of-75 hitting with two outs (.200). He also has excelled about not giving up hits with runners on the basepath, holding opponents to .229 batting with runners (27-of-118).
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 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 189 baserunners on the year and allowed just 50 to score (28.6 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 (16/3), Jared Glenn (23/5) and Brady Corrigan (27/3). Corrigan has excelled in that area his entire career, inheriting 79 baserunners and allowing just 16 to score (20.8 percent)
- The Sun Devil staff has stranded 439 runners on the basepath, averaging just about 8.5 LOB per game.
- Opponents are getting an RBI with a runner on third and less than two outs just 52.3 percent of the time, improving on a 20-year average that sits at 57.7 in the category with nine seasons over 60 percent. ASU's opponents are just 12-of-70 with the bases loaded (.171).
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 now has 42 home runs in the last 29 games (1.4 per game) after it had just 16 home runs in the first 23 games of the year (0.70 per game). Its 58 homers are 59th nationally - notable as the team was 133rd in the NCAA just over a month ago.
- ASU has 62 doubles in the last 27 games (2.3 per game). It averaged just 1.8 doubles per game in the first 26 games of the year. ASU enters the weekend 29th nationally with 107 doubles.
- The Sun Devils are batting .287 as a team this year, 50th nationally.
- The Devils have posted double-digit hits in 19 of the last 28 games. ASU had just 10 double-digit hitting games in the first 24 games of the year.
- ASU is slugging .458 on the season, good for 49th nationally and second in the league.
- ASU had two double digit hitting games against Oregon State and finished the series with 30 hits - notable as OSU had entered the weekend fifth nationally with just 6.7 hits allowed per game and only 5.82 hits per road game.
- Prior to that series, the Beavers' pitching staff had allowed only 17 home runs before the Sun Devil got a hold of 8 in three games.
- Arizona State scored at least nine runs in each of the first two games against Oregon State, the first time Oregon State had allowed nine or more runs in back-to-back games since Feb. 24-25 of the 2012 season (not a series). It is the first time it has happened twice in a three-game series since all three games at Cal in 2010.
- ASU has made a habit of getting at elite pitchers this season. Against the 10 Pac-12 pitchers that earned First Team honors this year, the Sun Devils bat .330 as a team on 41-of-124 hitting with those pitchers accounting for a combined 8.35 ERA.
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 veteran starters is Drew Swift - who shifted over to shortstop this season after spending the majority of his career at second base.. 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 47th nationally
- The left side of the Sun Devil infield has been exceptional this season as Drew Swift and Hunter Haas have combined for just 10 errors on 380 chances. The 10 errors mark the lowest on the left side of an infield in the Pac-12.
- ASU's 380 chances on the left side of the infield are second-most for a primary duo in the Pac-12.
- ASU is first in the nation with 57 double plays turned this season, which is especially impressive since the team had just six in the first 14 games of the season.
- Sean McLain (46), Drew Swift (39) and Hunteer Haas (12) 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.
- Swift (158) and McLain (15-) are third and fourth in the league, respectively, in defensive assists.
- ASU is 29-11 this year with one or fewer errors compared to 3-9 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 66.3 percent of the Sun Devil at-bats this season. Only Virginia Tech's 72.0 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 21.6 percent of their at-bats this season from freshmen.
- If the season ended today, Sean McLain and Ethan Long would both move into ASU's all-time top-10 for freshmen batting averages.
- For a young team that has taken its fair share of gut punches, ASU is 11-4 in weekend series this year and are 13-13 when trailing or tied after five innings on the season.
- Those 13 wins are tied for the most in a season at ASU since 1998 (the 2011 team was 13-13 and three times ASU had 12). Only the 2007 (10-7) and 2010 (10-9) have posted winning records in the category since 1998.
AUSTIN REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, 6/4 Game Times:
- 1:00pm CST: Southern vs Texas (LHN)
- 6:00pm CST: Fairfield vs Arizona St (ESPN3)
Saturday, 6/5 Game Times:
- 1:00pm CST: Game 3
- 6:00pm CST: Game 4
Sunday, 6/6 Game Times:
- 1:00pm CST: Game 5
- 7:00pm CST: Game 6
Monday, 6/7 Game Time *if necessary:
- 3:00pm CST: Game 7 (subject to change)
AUSTIN TICKET INFORMATION
- All-session tickets will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, June 1 at 7 a.m. AZT at TexasSports.com/Tickets. Fans can purchase parking in advance at Click and Park. If available, single-session tickets will go on sale Friday, June 4 at 7 a.m. AZT
ASU In The Postseason
- ASU will be playing in its 35th NCAA Regional while its 41 NCAA postseason appearances are the fifth-most among teams in this year's tournament and the sixth-most in Division I history.
- 19 Regional Titles
- 22 CWS appearances, fourth-most in DI history
- 10 CWS final appearances - third-most in DI history
- 61 CWS wins - third most in D1 history
- 5 National Titles - fourth most in D1 history