ASU baseball: Lingos Dominates, ASU Cruises to 14-2 Win

The Sun Devil offense broke the game open with a seven-run fifth inning on the way to a lopsided victory.

The Sun Devils dominated all aspects of the game as ASU topped the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 14-2, Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. This is ASU’s first series win of the 2018 season. 

Backed up by a stellar start from senior pitcher Eli Lingos, ASU’s offense pummeled OK State’s pitching for 16 hits, while also drawing five walks. 

“Guys (were) seeking elevation and doing a good job of being aggressive when they saw the ball up,” ASU head coach Tracy Smith said. “Hitting is contagious. It makes other guys relax.”

The Sun Devils got the scoring started in the bottom of the fourth inning, when an RBI single by freshman infielder Gage Workman brought home freshman outfielder Spencer Torkelson from second base. 

From there, the Sun Devils would tack on 12 more hits and 13 more runs. Every Sun Devil in the starting lineup had at least one hit in the game. 

“Everybody is going to have a role on this team," Smith said. "Maybe it is not hitting three-hole or being (the) Friday starter, but if you wear the Sun Devil uniform, you’re apart of this thing.”

Two Big Innings 

The Sun Devil offense got on a roll in the bottom of the fifth inning.  

ASU added to the 1-0 lead when junior outfielder Gage Canning tripled down the right field line, scoring freshman infielder Alika Williams after he doubled to begin the fifth. 

“I think it works both ways,” Canning said. “When they are doing really well pitching, it gives us a couple of innings to start rolling with the bats and once we get them rolling, it takes stress off of them to keep throwing strikes and to not worry about the game being close.”

ASU continued what would become a productive fifth frame as freshman shortstop Drew Swift singled to shallow right field, giving the Sun Devils a 3-0 lead. 

A sacrifice fly from Torkelson, an RBI single by Workman, a bases-clearing double by sophomore outfielder Hunter Bishop and a sacrifice fly by freshman catcher Luke Leisenring increased ASU’s advantage to 8-0. 

To give an idea of how big the fifth inning was for the Sun Devils, in just 2/3 of an inning, ASU scored seven runs on seven hits and went through the entire batting order.

 ASU’s seventh inning also saw multiple runs cross home plate. 

An RBI double and a bases-loaded walk resulted in two more runs for the maroon and gold. With the bases still loaded, Canning connected on a bases-clearing double to right center field. 

ASU would add one more run before the inning was over and the Sun Devils maintained a 14-1 edge. 

Senior Leadership

Lingos was nothing short of masterful on the mound Saturday. 

Of the first 14 batters Lingos faced, seven went down in the scorebook as strikeouts.

“He did a really good job of keeping them off balance, throwing any pitch in any count and if you do that, it is pretty tough to get good swings off of ya,” Smith said.

Of the 76 pitches Lingos threw, 51 were strikes. His seven strikeouts on the day tied a collegiate career high. 

"I finally found the slider,” Lingos said. “I was comfortable with it today and throwing it for strikes, so the changeup, slider combination for me is what really helped.”

What’s Next for ASU

ASU and OK State wrap up their three-game series at Phoenix Muni Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for noon MST. The Cowboys will try to salvage a game in Arizona while the Sun Devils go for the series sweep.  

“A true test of who we are and who we want to be is how do we come out tomorrow,” Smith said. “Do we come out satisfied with winning two baseball games and call it a weekend? Or if we want to be in the conversation for a national championship, you have to come out and play well and mature tomorrow.” 

ASU only won four series all of last season. 

“(The series sweep) would be a big momentum shift for us,” Lingos said. “Really set the tone for the rest of the year honestly.”

Reach the reporter at or follow @Michael_Baron96 on Twitter.

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