(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Arizona State battled with Utah in the second edition of a three-game series from Phoenix Municipal Stadium, and made some history in their 5-0 victory over the Utes.
Head coach Tracy Smith sent sophomore Ryan Hingst to the mound for his first start of the season, and he turned in the best start possible. With nine strikeouts and three walks, Hingst hurled a no-hitter along with ending the Devils’ five-game losing streak and securing their first win of conference play.
ASU plated the first run of the night in the third on an Andrew Shaps infield single to deep short that scored Andrew Snow from third base. The 1-0 advantage was the Sun Devils’ first lead in almost two weeks, going back to the final game of the UC Davis series on March 13.
The lead was doubled one inning later with two pitches, as Brian Serven tripled to right center, then Tyler Williams singled him home on the next pitch to make it 2-0.
A three-run sixth inning gave the Devils some much-needed insurance, getting an RBI single courtesy of pinch hitter Ryan Lillard, a bases-loaded walk from David Greer, and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Colby Woodmansee.
Just one run would’ve been enough for Hingst on this special night, and he turned in a near-perfect start when ASU needed it the most.
Player of the Game: Ryan Hingst. In his first start of the year, he ended the longest losing streak in the Tracy Smith era at ASU. He didn’t allow a base runner until the fifth inning, only allowed one runner to reach as far as second base, and set a new career high in strikeouts (nine) and innings (nine). He also took over the team lead in ERA from Eric Melbostad of those with at least eight innings pitched (0.75). Oh and by the way, he tossed the ninth no-hitter in school history.
Unsung Hero: Tyler Williams. The freshman making only his fourth start of the year delivered a 2-3 night with an RBI and a stolen base. Left field is still an open position as of now for the Sun Devils, and if Williams can put a string of nights together like this, the job may be his very quickly.
You Knew It Was Over When: Ryan Lillard singled home the third run of the game, the first of a three-run sixth inning. Utah’s offense was completely dominated all night and didn’t stand a chance after that.
Biggest Concern for ASU: 14 strikeouts for ASU on the night. That puts them at 172 for the season, averaging just over 8 per game so far. Shaps leads the team with 22, Canning is right behind him with 21, while three more have at least 16 (Zawada, D. Williams, Greer).
Stat of the Night: Three stolen bases in as many chances for the Sun Devils, who were just 11-19 on the season coming into the game.
What’s Next?: ASU will wrap up the series against Utah Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium with first pitch at 12:30 PM