PHOENIX – Sun Devil Baseball ended a five-game losing streak in emphatic style on Friday, posting a 19-7 rout over the Utah Utes to open the series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Sun Devils poured on 20 hits and six walks to go along with their 19 runs on the night, moving into a tie with the Utes for sixth in the Pac-12 as the Sun Devils look to lock down a bid to the Pac-12 Baseball Tournament at the end of the month.
Nate Baez homered twice and had five RBIs on 4-of-5 hitting. Jacob Tobias added five RBIs as well and seventh different Sun Devils recorded multi-hit games, including three hits from Joe Lampe, Conor Davis and Cam Magee.
Christian Bodlovich, Tyler Meyer, Brock Peery and Will Levine were able to limit Utah to just one run over the final 4.2 innings, as they added five strikeouts to Adam Tulloch’s 10 on the night, combining for a total of 15 strikeouts on the night.
The Sun Devils went ahead early on a two-run shot by Jacob Tobias, but the Utes tied it up immediately after with two in the third. The Sun Devils had a response in the bottom of the third with a one-out single and Sean McLain HBP. Ryan Campos’ fly out was not deep enough to advance either of the runners, but no advancement would be needed, as Nate Baez blasted a home run to left center field on the first pitch he saw. His third straight game with a homer and fourth three-run shot of the year put the Sun Devils up 5-2.
THE BIG MOMENT
The fourth inning was all Sun Devils, as they went from a three run lead, to a seven run lead. Murphy walked and Rogers singled with one out to bring up Magee. The freshman doubled to right field to bring Murphy home. Immediately after, Lampe followed with his own double on the first pitch to bring another pair home. A speedy Lampe quickly stole third and was then able to score on a shallow sacrifice fly off the bat of McLain to make it 9-2. The nine runs off Utah ace Matt Sox were notable as he had allowed just eight total in his three previous games.
THE FINAL STRAW
Utah did not go quietly into the night, recording four runs of its own in the top of the fifth to make it a ballgame again at 9-6. In the bottom of the fifth, the Sun Devils posted two runs to get the lead from 9-6, to 11-6, with the Devils in the lead. Six hits in the bottom of the sixth pinned four runs on the scoreboard to seemingly put the game out of reach for the Utes. Campos singled, Baez doubled, Davis singled, earning an RBI, Tobias lined out, bringing Baez home, Murphy doubled, Rogers singled, sending Davis home, and Magee singled to reach a point that the Sun Devils felt would be a comfortable one at 15 -6.
- Nate Baez homered for his third straight game in the third inning and added another in the fifth. It was his third straight game with a homer and his fourth three-run homer of the season. He also has two grand slams and two solo shots as well to give him 22 RBIs on his eight homers this year.
- The three-run blast came with two outs, giving him 25 two-out RBIs of his team leading 37 RBIs this year. No other player had more than 14 entering the weekend.
- Baez also recorded his 20th double of the season, the first player to reach 20 doubles since Davis Greer had 23 in 2016 and only the fifth since 2009 to reach the mark – and just the second to do so since the team moved to Phoenix Municipal Stadium .
- Utah start Matt Sox allowed nine runs in the contest, notable as just had allowed just eight in his last three games COMBINED in 22.0 innings, including a complete game effort against USC in which he was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and a massive one-run outing in 7.0 innings to defeat # 2 Oregon State last weekend.
- Joe Lampe extended his hitting streak to 15 straight games, the longest by a Sun Devil this season.
- It was Lampe’s ninth game this season with three hits – three more than any of his teammates.
- With 10 strikeouts tonight, Adam Tulloch became the first Sun Devil to record double-digit strikeouts multiple times in a season since Alec Marsh did so three times in 2019.
- ASU recorded double digit hits for the 18th time in the last 21 games and 27th time in 46 games this season.
- It was the seventh time this season ASU posted 15 or more hits in a game and second time it recorded 20 or more.
- The 19 runs for the Sun Devils were the most allowed by Utah since giving up 20 to Ohio State on Feb. 24, 2018.
- Lampe also stole his 16th base of the season, tied for ninth-most at ASU since 2009.
Tulloch started his night on the mound with two strikeouts and a diving play by Lampe in center to face the minimum. Lampe led off with a ground ball into the hole for an infield single, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. But McLain and Campos struck out and Lampe was wiped off the bases as he was picked off.
Two strikeouts and a flyout for Tulloch kept the Utes hitless through two. With one out, Conor Davis hit a high single to left. On the third pitch Jacob Tobias saw, he struck a towering shot to right field – a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the Whiteman Family Performance Center to give ASU an early 2-0 lead.
Utah wasted no time responding, starting the inning with a one-out double off the center field wall. Tulloch then gave up a single, allowing the Utes to score their first run of the game. The second double of the inning would add another for Utah, but a couple of strikeouts would end the inning. The Sun Devils kicked off their half of the inning with Magee flying out to left. Lampe stepped up to the plate and hit a dribbler past the mound, making it just in time to beat the throw at first from the shortstop for another infield single. Mclain wore his team-leading 17th HBP but Campos flew out to left to put two outs on the board. Baez then struck the crowd with a moon shot home run to give the Devils a three-spot in the third with his third straight game with a homer, making it 5-2.
Lampe stole third and scored moments later on a shallow fly out from McLain.
After his bats were able to pin a couple more runs on the board, Tulloch buckled down with three strikeouts, two of them being sent down looking. With one out, Kai Murphy got on board with a walk. Will Rogers hit a single to the shortstop to put runners at first and second. The number-nine hitter, Cam Magee, delivered, lacing a double down the right field line to bring Murphy home. Immediately after, Lampe duplicated Magee’s double, with a double down the right-field line to bring two more home. Lampe stole third and scored moments later on a shallow fly out from McLain to make it a 9-2 game.
After giving up a single and striking out the next batter, Tulloch’s night ended when he gave up a walk, a three-run shot and another walk to the last batter he faced. Christian Bodlovich was able to limit the damage as the Utes would try and crawl their way back as they turned a seven-run deficit, into a three-run deficit. Baez answered quickly to Utah trying to make a comeback, as he sent his second homerun of the game over the Utah bullpen. A couple singles and a walk would bring in some insurance for the Sun Devils, making the game 11-6 by the end of the fifth inning.
Tyler Meyer entered the game, notching his first strikeout against the first batter he faced. The next singled, but Meyer secured another strikeout and a ground out to bring the Sun Devils’ bats back out. Campos got the hitting fest started with a single to center. Baez, with two home runs under his belt, hit a ball that soared to the warning track in right, before bouncing for a ground-rule double. The double from Baez may not have brought in any runs, but Davis’ single would allow Campos to score. A lineout to center from Tobias scored Baez. With Davis at first, Murphy hit a ball that went straight over the right fielder’s head for a double. With men on second and third, Rogers singled for two runs to make it 15-6.
The Utes had no scoring luck in this inning as Meyer worked around a leadoff single to retire the next three batters in order. The Devils would continue to tack on runs, however. After McLain grounded out to leadoff the inning, both Campos and Baez drew walks. The Utes switched their pitchers, but that proved to be ineffective. Davis was served a wild pitch which allowed the on-base Sun Devils to make some moves. After the pitch, Davis walked as well. Tobias was the next batter, hitting the ball over to first and giving Campos enough time to run home on the fielder’s choice. Murphy closed out the inning with an out after flying it out to center.
A hit batter placed runners at first and second for Utah and a four-pitch walk loaded the bases. Meyer walked home a run, which would conclude his outing. Will Levine came in to relieve Meyer, to strike out the batter with the bases loaded to get out of the frame with minimal damage. To leadoff the inning, Rogers reached first on an error. Magee singled, and Lampe moved both runners over to second and third. Rogers was brought home on a wild pitch during McLain’s at-bat. McLain walked, bringing Campos to the plate. Campos struck out, but Baez singled to bring Magee home and McLain to third. Hunter Haas entered the game as a pinch hitter, and was hit on the first pitch he saw. Tobias singled, scoring McLain to put the score at 19-7.
Brock Peery was able to end the game, leaving a one-out double stranded with a flyout and a strikeout.
The Devils will look for a key series victory tomorrow with Kyle Luckham taking the mound and looking for his seventh win of the season. The game is scheduled to get underway at 6 pm AZT and will be available online through the ASU Live Stream or over the airwaves on KDUS 1060 AM.