Freshman pitching carried ASU baseball to its second-straight weekend series victory on Sunday, this time over the Tennessee Volunteers.
Freshmen Ryan Kellogg and Ryan Burr combined for eight innings pitched, one run, no walks, and ten strikeouts in the 5-1 road win.
Sun Devils batters also started to show signs of power, as both Trever Allen and James McDonald hit two-run home runs after ten and nine pitch at-bats, respectively.
The Volunteers struck first on a Christin Stewart base hit that brought home Will Maddox to give Tennessee the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
After escaping that inning, however, Kellogg settled down into a rhythm and ultimately won his first collegiate start and is 2-0 on the season.
Max Rossiter doubled to lead off the fourth and eventually made it home on a moon shot to left field off the bat of Allen. The unconventional hit broke the Sun Devils’ ten-inning scoring drought and gave them the 2-1 lead.
McDonald added a bomb of his own in the fifth to provide Kellogg with a comfortable three-run lead.
However, three runs of insurance did not satisfy Allen. In the sixth, the sophomore singled, stole second, advanced to third on a fly ball, and stole home on a wild pitch to manufacture ASU’s fifth run of the afternoon.
The now four-run cushion proved to be enough for the Sun Devils, as they eventually won their 14th consecutive series in February.
Senior reliever Matt Dunbar entered in the ninth and closed out the game, despite walking three straight in a healthy dose of Brian Wilson-esque late-inning drama.
Tennessee starter Andy Cox (1-1) allowed four runs on six hits as the left-hander lost his first game of the young 2013 season.
The Sun Devils committed two errors in the victory, including a first inning errant throw to first by Kellogg that allowed Stewart to advance to third. Fielding efficiency is typically a trademark of Sun Devil baseball but the team has been sloppy in the field to start the 2013 season, totaling 13 errors in the first six games.
Next up, the Sun Devils will compete in the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Arizona against Arkansas, Pacific, and Gonzaga. The Sun Devils will play four games this weekend, including two games against No.2 Arkansas. The Sun Devils are scheduled to take on the Razorbacks at 4 p.m. on Thursday.