Hitting coach Michael Earley on ASU baseball's early offensive power

With great offensive power comes even greater responsibility

ASU baseball (4-0) is off to a hot four-game start and it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed — physically by everyone that has set foot at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and virtually by those that have tuned in.

So far, the Sun Devils have posted a combined 58 runs, 57 hits, 53 RBIs, 29 walks and four home runs. Those numbers might be shocking to opponents, but for ASU it's looking a lot similar to their 2010 championship season.

At the same four-game stretch during the 2010 season, the team delivered 59 runs, 63 hits, 33 walks, and two home runs.

Last season, the Sun Devils seventh place Pac-12 finish might seem disappointing but Hitting Coach Michael Earley said the team's unsuccessful finish is taken as a positive because it helps builds the character of this year's team. 

"A lot of these young guys learned throughout the season how to handle adversity," said Earley, who's in his third season with the team. "It's really going to carry and catapult us forward because right now everything is going well but adversity is going to hit."

For now, adversity has taken a backseat for the Sun Devils. 

Sophomore outfielder Trevor Hauver, who bats in the leadoff spot, is one shy of breaking his career-high 12 walks. Hauver's sharp eye has earned him at least one walk in all four starts. 

Junior outfielder Carter Aldrete slugged two home runs during the team's second win. Aldrete is one away from tying his career-high.

Redshirt sophomore catcher Sam Ferri spent the entire 2018 season with an arm injury, but this season he's come back with a vengeance. Batting in the eighth spot Ferri produced three hits, one double and now tied his career-high five RBIs. 

"It's really a collection of work," Earley said. "Guys like Carter (Aldrete) it's year three of working and doing the same stuff but getting better at it. Sam (Ferri) I mean he's such a competitor in the box he's never out of it even when he's not feeling good he's going to give you a good at-bat and get something going." 

As the team's hitting coach, Earley worked with Ferri during the offseason on getting him better developed and the team as a whole on being more confident players. 

"He's (Ferri) going to compete and do everything he can to get on base, that's a weapon in itself," Earley said. "He's got a great swing and I think the best is yet to come for him." 

As for the rest of the line-up, there's plenty of sweet spots open for players like sophomore infielders Spencer Torkelson and Drew Swift who bat in the second and ninth spot respectively to pick up the team late in the game.  

While Swift has improved to career-high four doubles, Torkelson, on the other hand, launched his first home run of the season on Wednesday. Together they have produced 18 RBIs and six doubles.

Torkelson however is not fazed by having only one home run under his belt. 

"Mike (Earley) kept telling me to keep having good at-bats and if your swing is meant to hit home runs it'll happen," Torkelson said.

Although the premature offensive power might be too early to predict the rest of the season, one could hope the pieces will all fit together. 

"If we keep it up I think this is actually who we are," Swift said. "The pitching will be there and I think it will be a good year."

Swift, who has been able to capitalize on mostly fastballs for the teams early scoring, credits Earley.

"We've been working really hard," Swift said. "He's been good with me and I definitely think it's been paying off a lot." 

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

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