ASU baseball pitching and hitting dazzles to take down offensive powerhouse Aggies

No. 19 ASU baseball scores seven runs to beat New Mexico State

Heat was radiating off of Sun Devil junior outfielder Hunter Bishop the moment he stepped onto the plate, going 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs. 

It was enough to push ASU baseball (16-0) past New Mexico State (14-4) by a score of 7-3 on Wednesday.  

"I wouldn't say it's like a streak, just staying with my approach," Bishop said. "But it's easy when you got a guy like this (Trevor Hauver) hitting in front of you and Tork (Spencer Torkelson) too. It goes without saying, but they take a lot of the pressure off my shoulders with how good they are." 

The five Sun Devil pitchers used during the win was enough to silence the No. 1 offensive team in the country and hold them to three runs and seven hits.

"I thought Erik (Tolman) was kinda the key to settling things down there a little bit," coach Tracy Smith said. "From the pitching standpoint, it's a really good offense and I know people talked a lot about that. I don't think we pitched great tonight, particularly the lead-off walks and those gave up a couple runs, but to not pitch great and still shut that offense down, I'm proud of our guys."

It didn't take long for things to get cracking at Phoenix Municipal Stadium when Sun Devil junior infielder Carter Aldrete walked to load the bases during the first inning. Soon after, sophomore infielder Alika Williams brought in a pair of runs on a single to center field.

With the Aggies leading the nation in batting average, it was only fair for the team to respond with juice of its own during the second inning when sophomore designated hitter Noah Haupt shot one clean to right field, making it a 2-1 game. 

That would only last momentarily, when sophomore outfielder Hauver responded with a home run down the right-field line during the second inning and Bishop, during the third inning, launched his ninth home run of the season to center field.  

Hauver, who went 3-for-4, said the only thing he needs to work on is getting on base more when leading off the game.  

Bishop didn't push the breaks anytime after that. On a 1-0 count, he smacked an RBI single to right field during the fourth inning, which gave the Sun Devils a 5-1 lead.

Bringing in freshman left-handed pitcher Erik Tolman during the fourth inning would prove to be all too much for the Aggies. Tolman, who pitched 2.2 innings, earned the win by racking up four strikeouts and holding the Aggies to one run.  

As for the Sun Devils' offense during the seventh inning, redshirt sophomore catcher Sam Ferri hit an RBI triple at the eight pitch.

Junior left-handed pitcher Chaz Montoya earned the save with three strikeouts on 1.2 innings for the Sun Devils.

"You can't throw the get me over curve ball hanging right down the middle to these guys," Montoya said. "As you can see, a bunch of them have home runs ... so we had to make better pitches, smarter decisions when we were on the mound."    

ASU will begin conference play with a three-game series against the Washington State Cougars (6-10) beginning on Friday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. MST. 


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

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