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Sun Devil Baseball Rallies From Five Down to Sweep Dons

Mar 13, 2022

PHOENIX – Sun Devil Baseball started its Sunday doubleheader day with a 17-10 win and series sweep over San Francisco on Sunday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Down by as many as five runs, ASU put up crooked numbers in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings - clawing back within a run in the sixth, taking its first lead in the seventh and blowing the doors off in the eighth. 
Joe Lampe reached base on all six plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with his Pac-12 leading sixth home run of the year, three walks and an HBP. Nate Baez put the nail in the coffin in the eighth with his second grand slam of the season, Conor Davis had four RBIs and Sean McLain added three RBIs with two hits.
Will Levine was pivotal out of the bullpen after ASU fell into a 6-1 hole through two innings as he went 4.0 innings while allowing just one run to give the Devil offense a chance to rally. Christian Bodlovich earned his first save of the year with 1.2 innings of work, striking out four while Graham Osman earned the win. 
The Sun Devil pitchers struck out 10 while allowing just two walks while conversely, the Sun Devil offense drew 12 walks and three HBP to just four strikeouts. San Francisco or Arizona State managed to score in every inning except for the fourth, combining for a total of 28 hits, 14 walks, three hit-by-pitch and 27 runs. 
SFU recorded three two-out home runs to jump out to a 7-1 lead but Will Levine deserves some of the credit for turning the tide after ASU went down 6-1 early. The veteran stymied the SFU offense to just one run over four innings to keep the game from spiraling out of control. The Sun Devil offense got going in the sixth inning, as ASU loaded the bases on a walk and two HBP. Lampe and McLain would both draw bases-loaded walks to plate a pair and Conor Davis got a two-RBI single to get back within 7-6.
After being down for most of the game, the Sun Devils rallied in the seventh inning for the third straight game to gain the lead. It started with back-to-back singles that came from Will Rogers and Ryan Campos. Michael Brueser worked a walk to load them up for ASU, passing the baton to Joe Lampe who drew another bases loaded walk to bring in the tying run. What looked like an inning-ending double play ball to second, turned out being the help Arizona State needed after it was thrown away to center field bringing in the go-ahead runs. Conor Davis walked and brought in some insurance for ASU, followed by Nate Baez who also contributed to the rally when he drove one into left field for a sacrifice fly to give ASU a 11-7 lead.
After Arizona State put up a five-spot in the seventh inning, San Francisco clapped back with a three-run eighth inning to make it a one run game at 11-10. ASU again loaded the bases with less than two outs and got some insurance off the bat of Sean McLain who lined one into left field for an RBI single.. Conor Davis also worked an RBI walk with the bases loaded. 
Baez dropped the hammer at that point with a moonshot grand slam, his second of the season, to give the Sun Devils a six-spot and a commanding 17-10 lead.

  • ASU has four grand slams in the first 17 games of the season - the most for a SEASON since it also had four in 2004.
  • Nate Baez became the first Sun Devil to have two grand slams in a season since Ike Davis had two in 2006.
  • The Sun Devils recorded 13 runs combined in the bottom of the seventh in the three game series - four on Friday, three on Saturday and five on Sunday. 
  • The Sun Devils drew 24 walks in the series compared to just 16 strikeouts. It was the first time ASU walked more than it struck out in a three-game series since Boston College (25:20) in 2020. 
  • On the flip side, the Sun Devil pitchers struck out at least 10 batters in each game and finished with 35 for the series to just three walks. 

The Dons started the day swinging the bats, getting three hits, including a two-out, three-run shot to start the day. The Sun Devils, battling from behind in the bottom of the inning, led off the inning with a first-pitch home run to straight center field coming off of Lampe's bat - his Pac-12 leading sixth homer of the year.  
The second was another eventful inning for the Dons. A cleanly fielded chopper to Davis looked to show the Sun Devils had control but walks put Meyer in a similar position he found himself in the first. Meyer got a second out with a strikeout, but a second three-run homer in just as many innings would grow the deficit to 6-1. Another single would not advance, as the inning was put to a halt by Magee, with a diving effort to snatch a liner. In the designated hitter role today, Baez hit a ball out of reach from the two Dons outfielders to get a leadoff double. Andrew Lucas beat out the throw at first to prolong the inning, but the Sun Devils' nine-spot was unable to capitalize.
Will Levine came into the game and retired the side with a strikeout, a loud out that landed in Lampe's glove in the deepest part of center field and a grounder to Magee to end the inning. Lampe then began the bottom half of the inning with a single to center, recording his second hit of the game, putting him at eight multi-hit games this season. McLain continued the inning with an opposite-field single and sent Lampe to third with the hit-and-run. Long then followed with a base hit of his own into center field to bring in Lampe for the Sun Devils' second run of the day, but ASU was not able to capitalize as the next three hitters went down in order. 
Levine calmly helped himself by receiving a lob from Davis to collect the first out. A hard hit grounder that took an unmanageable hop, skipped past Long to get a single, but a 6-4-3 sequence got the job done. Ryan Campos walked on a full count, and the pair of Lucas and Magee moved him over to get within ninety feet of a third run. Lampe was given first after getting hit on the first pitch, but McLain's grounder would be fielded cleanly to put an end to the inning.
A leadoff single by the Dons was quickly erased with a 4-6-3 double play, but a home run just out of the reach of Lampe's glove in center field would give San Francisco their seventh run of the day. Baez earns himself a two-out walk, but a pop-out off the end of Rogers' bat ends the inning.
Levine came back for a fourth-inning and sent the first batter down, looking. A single followed, but Levine worked out of it with a pop-up and a fly-out. The Sun Devils put five straight on base without getting a hit, as a result of a four-pitch walk for Campos, two hit batters in Lucas and Magee, and a pair of full count walks for Lampe and McLain, which brought in Campos and Lucas. On a liner that dashed passed the shortstop and third baseman, Magee and Lampe reached home to make it a one-run game. Baez kept the inning going, by beating out a throw to avoid the double play, bringing Will Rogers up to bat. With Rogers at the plate, Lucas sprinted home after a ball veered a couple of feet away from the Dons catcher, but was out by a comfortable distance, to end the inning that put the game within reach.
Graham Osman had the ball for the top of the seventh and gave up a one-out single but escaped any potential damage with back-to-back strikeouts. ASU began their half of the inning with back-to-back singles that came from Rogers and Campos. Michael Brueser then pinch hit and walked to load them for Lampe, who also walked to bring in the tying run. McLain grounded one to first that looked like it would be an inning ending double play but a gift is handed to Arizona State after the throw goes into center field, bringing in two more runs. A Baez sacrifice fly to left gave the Sun Devils some insurance and put them up 11-7, after their five-run inning. 
Osman returned for a second inning. A single that scored on a double to right field. The reliever looked to get his second out when a grounder found McLain, but the throw bounced into the home dugout to bring in two Dons to put them behind by only one. Christian Bodlovich replaced Osman, and gave up a double but Lampe did well to anticipate the bounce off the wall to get it back into the infield. Bodlovich looked far more composed, getting the next two to strikeout swinging. Within one, Campos got it started with a walk. Higgins' hit to third was swatted down by the Dons' third baseman, but no throw was even attempted. With first and second occupied, Champagne moved both runners over as a result of a sacrifice bunt. With first base open, the Dons made the executive decision to intentionally walk Lampe, who was 2-2 with 3 walks on the day. McLain did his job, getting a single to bring in Campos, with Davis' walk bringing in Higgins. Baez not only replenished the lead, but gave his team the biggest lead of the day of seven, with a grand slam to left. 
The Sun Devil pitching staff was able to finish off the game cleanly with a two strikeouts and a flyout to center field to end the game.