(Photo: Blaine McCormick/WCSN)
Arizona State has had trouble scoring first this season, or at least prior to this past Tuesday. After scoring first on Friday night, ASU has scored first in the past three games and consequently has won each.
With the victory in game two of the series, the Sun Devils have now won their first Pac-12 series of the season on Friday night with a 10-7 win over the Washington State Cougars.
The Sun Devil offense came out ready to roll in game two against the Cougars. The offense did something they haven’t done in the entire season; they batted around their entire lineup in the first inning.
ASU scored six runs in the first, which gave them a solid cushion early on. The big-hit of the inning came from Carter Aldrete who hit an opposite field home run that landed just under the Sun Devil Baseball scoreboard in right-centerfield.
The Sun Devils added to their lead with two more in the third inning, one in the fourth and one in the fifth inning.
ASU would need all those runs as WSU made a spirited comeback in the top of the seventh. The Cougars put up six runs, after being down 10-1 going into the frame, making the score 10-7.
The Sun Devils had a chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded the bases with nobody out. Jeremy McCuin then grounded into a double play and Gage Canning hit a fly out to left field.
Following the blown chance to add some runs for ASU, Ryan Hingst started to dial in. Hingst recorded the win as he retired six of the final seven WSU batters.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carter Aldrete. With the offense performing so well in earning the win, it’s tough to pick just one player as the player of the game but Aldrete provided the big-hit in the Sun Devils key first inning. The shortstop hit a three-run home run over the Coca-Cola sign in right-centerfield that made the score 5-0. The freshman shortstop also looked good defensively as he was instrumental in turning two double plays for ASU in the first and fifth innings.
UNSUNG HERO: Eder Erives. While the senior right-hander didn’t go very long in the game, he put up zeros for the Sun Devils until he departed after three and two thirds innings. Erives allowed the ASU offense to do their work early, ultimately contributing to the team’s third consecutive victory.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Five of the ASU starters had multi-hit nights as the team combined to hit a total of 15 hits on Friday evening.
BIGGEST CONCERN: Walks. Not to sound like a broken record, but after allowing six walks in the Thursday night victory for ASU, the Sun Devils allowed seven walks, with three coming in the seventh inning in which the Cougars put up five runs.
WHAT’S UP NEXT?: With the win on Friday night, ASU wins its first Pac-12 series of the weekend, but the series isn’t over yet. ASU can earn its first sweep since beating Long Beach state three straight times one month ago. The series concludes tomorrow as Cody Anderson will take the hill for WSU. The ASU starter hasn’t been named yet with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 P.M.