ASU baseball's 20 runs and hits push the Devils past Notre Dame

The Sun Devils broke out the bats late in the game during their 20-7 win

Hits plus hits equal runs for ASU baseball.  

The Sun Devils (2-0) got 20 hits in their 20-7 win over Notre Dame (0-2) on Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Sun Devil junior infielder Carter Aldrete went 3-5, blasting almost identical home runs to left field and earning six RBIs. 

With outfield renovations before the start of the season, the power within the Sun Devils' bats has already started to flourish only two games into the season.

"The fences getting moved in just changes our whole aspect as a team," Aldrete said. "Those balls were outs last year and running the bases becomes more vital now with the fences getting moved in because you're are on first base and someone hits a double you might not be scoring."  

But Aldrete was not the only one who had a top-notch night. The top of the lineup proved to be a meaty and dangerous combination for the Irish. 

Sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson, who was batting at the number two-spot, went 3-5 with two RBIs.

Junior outfielder Hunter Bishop and fellow junior designated hitter Lyle Lin went 2-5 and 3-6respectively. They combined for five RBIs.

"It's a new season, and obviously it's a new me this year," Lin said. 

But in contrast to Friday night's strong Sun Devil pitching, sophomore starting pitcher Boyd Vander Kooi was taken out after allowing five runs and six hits through 3.2 innings under his belt. 

"I don't know, we haven't seen that all spring," coach Tracy Smith said on Vander Kooi's performance. "These guys are still young people, and he's trying to maybe do too much. It was interesting because I think once things maybe turned a little bit on him he didn't get angry. He didn't show the things he's capable of doing."

As a result, the Irish capitalized on the Sun Devils' early faults, maintaining a 5-4 lead through the fourth inning. 

But in the span of those innings, Notre Dame's pitching also had flaws.   

Junior starting pitcher Cameron Brown was also taken out after allowing four runs and seven hits through 3.2 innings.   

The early pitching change lead to the Sun Devils' tumultuous late lead that held onto the last pitch of the game.  

With a comfortable double-digit lead heading into the sixth inning, Smith took advantage of that opportunity by allowing three of his freshman right-hand pitchers to close out the game. 

Will Levine allowed the Irish to score their last pair of runs and a hit, Dom Cacchione threw six pitches and Luke La Flam put out the side.

Freshman Blake Burzell, who pitched at the number three spot, took the win with 2.0 IP.

"I have a couple pitches but they (opponents) really like my two-seam (fastball)," Burzell said. "I've just been throwing that until they can prove they can hit me." 

Burzell said he felt under prepared because he didn't know he was going into pitch.

In just the first two games of the season, the Sun Devils have scored 30 runs.

Aldrete said the team is riding its high-scoring wave into tomorrow's game and won't question its multitude of runs. 

"I told everyone (his teammates) to wear all black tomorrow when they show up to the field for (Notre Dame's) funeral," Aldrete said. "So hopefully we all do that, but we are just going to come ready to play."

ASU will close out the three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 12:30 p.m. MST with Sophomore righty RJ Dabovich on the mound.


Reach the reporter at Edith.Noriega@asu.edu or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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