Baseball yet to leave the park against ASU pitchers

Freshman pitcher Brett Lilek raises his knee during his delivery in the ASU alumni game on Feb. Lilek has proved himself in these early games and might get a start this weekend in the Coca-Cola Classic. (Photo by Molly J. Smith)

Freshman pitcher Brett Lilek raises his knee during his delivery in the ASU alumni game on Feb. Lilek has proved himself in these early games and might get a start this weekend in the Coca-Cola Classic. (Photo by Molly J. Smith)

Through six games, the ASU baseball pitching staff has had its ups and downs.

What it hasn’t had is a ball fly out of the park.

The Sun Devil pitchers haven’t allowed a home run in their first two series.

In the first 55 innings of the season, the Sun Devils have only allowed 35 total hits. Only nine went for extra bases.

The pitching staff also cut its weekend walk total in half after a dismal 22 walks during opening weekend.

The ASU pitchers are also telling batters to grab some pine. Sun Devil pitchers recorded 29 strikeouts last weekend in Tennessee, which is more than a strikeout per inning.

Junior Trevor Williams leads the Sun Devils with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.

 

Freshmen Sensations

The freshmen pitching trio of Ryan Kellogg, Brett Lilek and Ryan Burr continues to impress.

The three combined for 10 innings last weekend and allowed only one run.

Kellogg surrendered the run but pitched five innings Sunday in his first career start to earn his second win of the season.

Burr replaced Kellogg and threw three scoreless innings in his first career road appearance.

Lilek’s outing came on Friday, finishing off Tennessee in the final two innings.

With the Sun Devils playing four games this weekend at the Coca-Cola Classic, it will be interesting to see if either Lilek or Burr is selected as the fourth starter.

 

Home Away From Home

Early in the season, the Sun Devils are already starting to develop the MO of winning games on the road.

Both Sun Devil wins on the weekend featured strong starting pitching and just enough offense to squeak by.

If the trend continues, expect a good number of Sun Devil road victories to be low-scoring games in which the home crowd is not a factor.

The Sun Devils struggled on the road last season, finishing only 10-13.

 

Spreading the love

Through six games, only four Sun Devils, junior Billy Young, freshman Emilio Torrez, freshman Trey Kamachi and redshirt sophomore Mark Lambson, have yet to make an appearance.

Nine Sun Devil hitters have made their first career plate appearances and seven of them have already recorded their first hits.

 

Tennessee digs the long ball

After recording up only one homerun during opening weekend, the Sun Devils launched four in Tennessee. Redshirt sophomore Trever Allen had jacks of his own.

All four home runs were were moonshots, too, especially the one from freshman Tony DiMartino on Saturday.

The only multi-home run game came on Sunday, when Allen and junior James McDonald hitting very similar home runs. Both worked the count, Allen for 10 pitches and McDonald for nine, before hitting two-run home runs.

 

Notes

- The Sun Devils have won 14 consecutive series victories in February, including eight straight under coach Tim Esmay.

- Friday’s shutout was the first Sun Devil shutout since April 28th, 2012, against Washington.

- The Sun Devils are now 13-2 all-time against Tennessee and improved their record against the SEC to 37-22-1.

 

Reach the reporter at dsshapi1@asu.edu