ASU baseball ends double-header Saturday in a grand way

With a grand slam and standout performances, the Sun Devils walk away with two victories over UC Davis

After rain prevented its Friday night opening game against UC Davis (3-3), the ASU baseball team whipped up a storm at its double header on Saturday, improving its overall record to a perfect 6-0. 

Game 1

Sun Devil junior starting pitcher Alec Marsh dealt a solid 101 pitches and allowed seven hits through 8.0 IP. The offense was there in tow backing him up late in the game for a 3-2 win over the Aggies.  

"I thought it was a great job, it was a great effort," Marsh said. "Especially from my standpoint getting us deep in the game (and) getting us a chance to win ... Our offense really put it together there toward the end." 

Freshman left-handed pitcher Erik Tolman earned the save throwing eight pitches.  

During the bottom of the eighth, Sun Devil sophomore outfielder Trevor Hauver tied the game with an RBI single to left field. With one out, junior infielder Lyle Lin sealed the win with an RBI fly out to left field to bring Hauver in.

In Marsh's second win, he's now posting a 1.23 ERA having dealt 15 strikeouts and allowed only two walks.

An offensive slumber manifested both the Sun Devils and Aggies throughout the first four innings because of the solid pitching on both ends. 

While Marsh allowed two hits – one during the top of the first and fourth – Aggies sophomore starting pitcher Brett Erwin allowed just three hits two during the bottom of the third and one in the fourth.   

During the top of the fifth inning, Aggies junior outfielder Alejandro Lara would lead off with a double to right center and sophomore infielder Kyler Arenado would later hit an RBI to get him in to for a 1-0 lead. 

A fielding error by Sun Devil sophomore Gage Workman during the top of the sixth would allow the Aggies to score an unearned run, but that would be it for them for the rest of the night. 

In a short two hour and 24 minute game, the Sun Devils would make magic happen with two outs against them during the bottom of the sixth inning. After a wild pitch allowed sophomore infielder Drew Swift to advance to second, sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson was there with an RBI single to make it a one-run game. 

Game 2

ASU had a plan all season: not holding back. And Saturday's 13-3 win over the Aggies showed it in their most decorated fashion.

Lin led the Sun Devils, going 3 for 5 with a grand slam – the first for ASU since 2014 – a double and a career-high six RBIs. Junior outfielder Myles Denson went 3 for 5 with a double and three RBIs. Six other roster players singled at least once that made up 17 total hits for the team.  

"You got to take it seriously," Denson said. "I'm trying to make the best of my opportunities and it was a good day for everybody."

On the mound for the Sun Devils, sophomore starting pitcher Boyd Vander Kooi went solid through 5.0 IP, racked eight strikeouts and allowed five hits. 

Relieving for Vander Kooi, senior Sam Romero allowed two hits and a home run. The closing rotation saw junior Chaz Montoya, freshmen Luke La Flam and Blake Burzell, who all pitched an inning a piece made up for a total five strikeouts and did not allow a hit or run to close out the Aggies.

"I felt like we let the score dictate our mental state on the mound," Smith said. "That was really one thing we talked about with the staff this week ... your job is to come in and pitch aggressively and I thought we did a really good job that even Sam Romero gave up a home run. I would rather give up a home run than watch a guy walk somebody."

The second time around, the Sun Devils got to a quick start during the bottom of the first when Lin's RBI double brought in two. That inning, Workman's RBI triple to center field would pull the team ahead 3-0. 

Some missteps in Vander Kooi's pitching during the top of the third inning allowed a walk, then Aggies' sophomore infielder Tanner Murray scored the team's first run of the game on a wild pitch. 

But the Sun Devils responded with two RBI hits from Williams and Denson during the third. 

Down 5-1, the Aggies would struggle to come back, their only other two runs – an unassisted RBI ground out by junior infielder Cooper Morrison during the top of the fourth inning and a home run by senior Garret Kelly during the seven – would not put a dent into the Sun Devils' already 13-3 lead. 

"That's one of the things that makes our offense unique, you got to work top to bottom," Smith said. "We're going to have days where we struggle, but for the most, we feel pretty solid from one through nine." 

ASU will go for the sweep as it takes on UC Davis again in Phoenix on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m MST. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.  

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.