ASU Baseball: Sun Devils sweep Oregon to begin conference play

ASU outscored Oregon 31-9 during the three-game weekend series

The Sun Devils earned their first sweep of 2018 win a 6-1 victory in the series finale over the Oregon Ducks on Sunday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. With the series sweep, ASU is now two games over .500 at 11-9. 

"What we want to pound in the heads of the guys in that locker room is 'This is us, man. This isn't a fluke,'" ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. "We've said by the time we hit conference, (we want to have a) little bit of a better idea of who we are."

ASU began the game with a single up the middle from sophomore infielder Carter Aldrete that  scored junior outfielder Gage Canning. It was the seventh run ASU scored in the first frame against Oregon.

"It sets the tone for the whole weekend," Aldrete said. "We kept our foot on the gas all weekend and I'm really proud of our offense."

Aldrete struck again in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single to left field that scored  sophomore infielder Lyle Lin and gave ASU a 2-0 lead. 

The Sun Devils continued to add to the advantage and carried a 4-1 edge entering the bottom half of the fifth. With two outs, freshman infielder Gage Workman doubled and reached third base on an error, scoring sophomore outfielder Hunter Bishop from first. 

A batter later, fellow freshman infielder Alika Williams singled home Workman for a 6-1 tilt. 

On the defensive side, ASU starting pitcher Eli Lingos pitched a masterful 7.2 innings. The senior left hander surrendered only one run to the Ducks. 

"With a senior guy like that, a guy that's experienced like that, taking the ball for you Sunday, guys feel good when he's on the mound," Smith said. "Definitely a step of growth. Definitely a step in the right direction."

Lingos earned his third win of the season and now has a 3-1 record to go with a 3.09 ERA. Oregon’s Kolby Somers is dealt his first loss of 2018.  

"You can't get too high or too low at any time," Lingos said. "It's more of using that momentum and just building with it. Using that confidence you got from this weekend and carrying that through the rest of the week." 

ASU’s last sweep came on April 15, 2017, when the Sun Devils swept the Washington State Cougars in a three-game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. 

Lingos Dominates

The senior from Temecula, California stifled the Ducks from start to finish. 

Lingos threw 98 pitches in his 7.2 innings of work. Of those 98 pitches, 65 were strikes. He also notched four strikeouts and surrendered only five hits. 

"The way I look at it is Sundays are always the games where it seems like the bats usually come out and I feel like younger guys aren't really ready for that," Lingos said. "A lot of people are a lot more aggressive, come out attacking, so you just have to know how to pitch to them." 

“Maroon” Hot Offense

The Sun Devil offense was on a tear this series versus the Ducks. During the series, the Sun Devils racked up 41 hits and 31 runs. 

"I thought our guys had an excellent approach, keeping it calm and putting balls in play with two strikes, and for this series, it certainly worked to our benefit," Smith said. 

ASU also had eight players with multi-hit games. Canning was among those six, as he recorded multiple hits in every game this past weekend. 

"I think the difference was that we played a more complete deal," Smith said. "We weren't giving stuff away. We weren't making the critical errors. I'm happy with the way our guys played, but we got some things we need to get better on." 

What’s Next for ASU

The Sun Devils take a quick break from Pac-12 Conference play when the UNLV Rebels visit Phoenix on March 20. First pitch Tuesday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST.


Reach the reporter at michael.baron@asu.edu or follow @Michael_Baron96 on Twitter.

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