In Arizona State’s first road outing of the season, the Sun Devils (3-1) shut out the University of Tennessee Volunteers (1-4) by a final score of 4-0.
All-American right-hander Trevor Williams proved why he is the ace of the Sun Devils’ staff, hurling seven scoreless innings while allowing only three hits and one walk. All three hits were only base knocks as the Volunteers struggled to hit the gaps against the Sun Devil’s ace.
He showed excellent command of his pitches, reaching 94 mph with his fastball, and he also threw plenty of first pitch strikes. Williams recorded eight strikeouts in the win, just one shy of his collegiate high.
“I think the difference in the game was the fact that Trevor Williams, who I think was lights out tonight, was ball one on only two of our hitters in his seven innings of work,” Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano said. “That was probably the difference. He already has good stuff… you have to tip your cap where it needs to be tipped and their pitching outdueled us tonight.”
Freshman left-hander Brett Lilek inherited the shutout in the eighth inning and kept the scoreboard blank. He walked three and struck out four in two hitless frames. Friday was Lilek’s third relief appearance in four games, and thus far he looks to be manager Tim Esmay’s go-to guy for later innings in non-save situations. Lilek has allowed just two hits in eight innings of work, but he needs to work on his command because he has walked a handful of batters.
The Sun Devils started the scoring in the second inning with an RBI single from designated hitter Nathaniel Causey that scored Max Rossiter. They later built on the 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when right fielder Trever Allen blasted a three-run home run to left field, his second of the year, to put the Devils up four. That was all the run support they needed, as the stellar pitching efforts of Williams and Lilek secured the win for Arizona State.
The back end of the order did not perform like they did last week. The bottom three of first baseman Rouric Bridgewater, left fielder Jake Peevyhouse and shortstop Drew Stankiewicz went a combined 0-for-10 with two walks and three strikeouts. Due to Esmay’s confidence in his bench players, it would not come as a surprise if some freshmen saw action in Saturday’s game.
Sun Devils’ sophomore southpaw Adam McCreery (0-0, 12.00 ERA) and Volunteers freshman righty Aaron Quillen (0-0, 1.80 ERA) are scheduled to start on Saturday afternoon. First pitch tomorrow in Knoxville is scheduled for 11 a.m.