With preseason All-American Trevor Williams on the bump, it seemed almost too easy to call an ASU win in the team’s season-opening game against Bethune Cookman. The season opened in epic fashion, as the Sun Devils took the win from the Bethune Cookman Wildcats in the 11thinning.
Williams didn’t go as deep into the game as Arizona State would have liked, but the star pitched well through 5 innings. He painted the outside corner and wasn’t afraid to use his breaking ball either.
Williams, a candidate for this year’s Golden Spike Watch, was consistent on hitting the outer half, but it also led to some uncharacteristic walks from the right-hander. He threw two walks, but racked up four strikeouts as well.
The freshmen pitchers performed beyond expectations as Ryan Burr and Brett Lilek went a combined 5 innings against the scrappy Wildcat line up. Burr and Lilek threw 5 strikeouts and played well beyond their years.
The Sun Devils lineup hit the ball right at Bethune Cookman defenders all night. This is a good sign of things to come. The bottom of the lineup did exceptionally well with sophomore Drew Stankiewicz recording his first career homerun as a Sun Devil. The shortstop ended his first career start with a pretty good stat-line: 3-for-5, with three RBIs.
The lineup showed tenacity and would not give up during the later innings of the game. While Michael Benjamin made adjustments to battle the Bethune Cookman pitching, first baseman Rouric Bridgewater and catcher Max Rossiter hit the ball hard tonight. Top to bottom, the Sun Devil lineup showed great promise and will continue to produce with more at-bats.
ASU will need this type of production and attitude from young and old alike later on during the heart of their schedule as they continue their road to Omaha.