Early hitting plus sound pitching equals an ASU baseball opening day win

The Sun Devils defeated Notre Dame 10-1 to start the season

ASU baseball sophomore Spencer Torkelson came into the season named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award watch list, and on Friday he came to deliver.

In the second inning, the ASU infielder made a base-clearing double down to right-center field, supporting the team's near-perfect victory against the Fighting Irish.

ASU baseball (1-0) held onto an early 5-0 lead for most of the game with the help of junior starting pitcher Alec Marsh, who held Notre Dame (0-1) to only four hits and one run through 6.2 IP.

That wasn't all for Marsh, as he set a career-high 10 strikeouts that propelled the Sun Devils to its 10-1 win over the Fighting Irish in the teams' first game of the season. 

"(Marsh has) shown maturity and the progression," coach Tracy Smith said. "Tonight he was very effective staying ahead, his defense liked playing behind him because they knew he was throwing strikes." 

Notre Dame on the other hand used five pitchers for a total of 171 pitches, 100 of them strikes. Meanwhile, its offense remained dormant for the entirety of the game. 

The Sun Devils' offense woke up for a second wind late in the game, this time from a set of fresh faces.  

Torkelson and juniors Hunter Bishop and Carter Aldrete set things up in the seventh inning with a pair of walks and single to right field. 

With bases loaded for Notre Dame, they allowed a walk, giving the Sun Devils a 6-1 lead.

Then with men on second and third for the Sun Devils, sophomore Alika Williams' RBI single produced two more runs the team.

But that wasn't all for the Sun Devils, redshirt sophomore Sam Ferri brought in two more runs for the team with a single up the middle. 

Ferri, who spent the entire 2018 season rehabbing an arm injury, went 2-4 with three RBIs in Friday's game. 

"It's definitely a big burden off my chest," Ferri said.     

Marsh wasn't fazed about Notre Dame's young lineup and limited them to only five full pitch counts.

"I took it in like I was playing Oregon State," Marsh said. "It's like, for me, I just got to go in there and take it like it's a national championship game."  

ASU will take on Notre Dame again on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. MST.    

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

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