Ryan Campos continued to swing a sizzling bat going 3-4 with his first career triple and falling a home run short of the cycle, securing his fourth three-hit game of the season in the process.
Luke Keaschall continued his hot bat for Arizona State (13-8, 2-1 Pac-12) by going 2-5 with two doubles and a run driven in. Sun Devil pitchers stifled the Grand Canyon (13-8, 5-1 WAC) offense, holding it to a mere six hits and no earned runs.
THE TURNING POINT
After giving up an early first inning run to the Lopes, the Sun Devils responded vigilantly putting up three runs of their own. Luke Hill singled then got on second with a passed ball. Campos then singled to put runners in scoring position. Jacob Tobias broke the scoring open with a single and a Contrades double to give ASU a 2-1 lead. Following a GCU error, it added another Sun Devil run to put up a three spot after the first inning.
THE BIG MOMENT
After adding another run in the third for the Sun Devils, ASU extended their lead with a two-run fifth inning led by a Ryan Campos triple off the wall then a Luke Keaschall double down the left field line scored Campos. Contrades later would smash a single to give ASU a commanding 6-1 lead to score Keaschall.
THE FINAL STRAW
A five-run seventh inning gave the Sun Devils a ten-run cushion after multiple errors by the Lopes, all started by a Ryan Campos double then a Jacob Tobias walk. All with one out, Isaiah Jackson beat out a throw to extend the inning, from there ASU was able to capitalize off of two Lope errors to score three runs.
INNING BY INNING
The Lopes took advantage of an opening single that would later give them an early 1-0 lead heading into the bottom half. Stevenson forced one strikeout swinging and caught consensus Preseason All-American Jacob Wilson on the base path in the frame.
Following a flyout, the team’s leader in batting average Luke Hill sniped a base hit toward left-field, then was advanced by a passed ball. Another single by Ryan Campos put runners on first and third. With two outs, Jacob Tobias evened up the score with an RBI single past the shortstop. Then, a sharply hit ball to the left-field corner by Nu’u Contrades gave the Sun Devils a 2-1 lead, as an error by the Lope’s second baseman gifted ASU its third run of the game.
GCU was able to get a single but didn’t generate anything worthy with two pop ups and a groundout to send ASU back to the plate.
After an eight-pitch at-bat by Kien Vu that ended with a leadoff single, he advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout, but was left stranded.
Josh Hansell entered the game for the Sun Devils and immediately notched his first strikeout, but the Lopes slapped a double down the left-field line. Following a walk, ASU was able to generate a groundout then Hansell threw his second strikeout of the inning on a changeup, freezing Zach Yorke, to escape the jam.
Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Luke Keaschall fired a double down the left-field line to start the inning, then stole third base. After a strikeout and a throw to first, Keaschall sneakily scored to add to the Sun Devil lead making it 4-1.
SImilar to the third, Hansell opened the fourth with a strikeout, his second strikeout looking of his outing. Following a flyout, the Lopes generated a single but nothing else, sending the Sun Devils back to the plate.
ASU went down in order in the home half of the fourth.
Hansell continued to keep the Lopes bats quiet with two pop-ups and stranding a runner on first to head into the bottom half of the frame.
Following a groundout, Ryan Campos smashed a ball dead-center, landing at the wall for a triple. Keaschall continued his hot bat with his second double, scoring Campos and making it 5-1 Sun Devils, prompting a pitching change for the Lopes. With two outs, Contrades found the gap with an RBI single to right field, scoring Keaschall to extend the lead to five.
Timmy Manning entered the game for Hansell, striking out Zach Yorke. Following an error by ASU, Manning was able to keep the Lope runner at first, sending the sixth to the bottom half.
After an opening strikeout, Vu notched his second hit of the contest through the gap, but the Sun Devils were unable to generate any more action sending the game to the seventh.
The Sun Devil pitching continued to dominate the Lopes, limiting them on the bases, Manning struck out the lone Lope batter to end the frame after conceding a single with two outs.
After the seventh inning stretch, Campos blooped a double in the outfield, then Keaschall grounded out, but Tobias walked to put runners on first and second. After an error by the Lope third baseman from a sharply hit ball by Contrades, it loaded the bases for the Sun Devils. Isaiah Jackson out-hustled to first base to beat out a throw to score Campos, giving ASU a 7-1 lead. Then, Willie Cano struck a ball straight to the second baseman, but an errant throw to second scored two more for the Sun Devils, extending the lead to 9-1. Despite Vu grounding out to second, he was able to score Jackson putting ASU in double digits for the fifth time this season. Finally, Wyatt Crenshaw singled, scoring Cano to give the Sun Devils an 11-1 lead going into the eighth.
Manning struck out the first batter he faced and continued to keep the Lopes off the bases and retired the side around a one-out hit by pitch.
In a pitch-hitting appearance, Trey Newman singled to right field, but the Sun Devils went down the order.
Tyler Valdez opened the final inning with a strikeout, then two fly outs to secure the first victory of the week for the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils will stay at Phoenix Municipal Stadium where they’ll face off in the annual Territorial Cup series, starting Friday where first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. AZT. Follow @ASU_Baseball for all the latest news and coverage.
Press Release courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics – Josh Schwam and Zach Wargo