Junior outfielder Hunter Bishop homers with four RBIs in ASU baseball win

ASU baseball blasts third double-digit scoring game in 16-5 win

The Sun Devils (3-0) put up 16 runs to sweep the season opening series against Notre Dame (0-3) on Sunday. 

Junior outfielder Hunter Bishop and sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson both led the team, each going 4 for 5 with seven combined RBIs.  

Bishop blasted his first home run of the season en route to the 16-5 win.

The Sun Devils now have 46 combined runs in the first three games of the season, the most the team has seen since the '09-10 season when they managed 44.   

"As a team we have a plan this year," Bishop said. "Coach Earley ... last year was what he was starting to get into and this year really is a testament to all the work he's put in for us."

ASU sophomore starting pitcher RJ Dabovich completed 5.0 innings with three earned runs and five walks.

"He (Dabovich) battled," coach Tracy Smith said. "Wasn't his best performance but he battled and gave us five and that's what we needed him to do."

The six Sun Devil pitchers used in the game combined for 10 walks and nine strikeouts, showing the teeter totter pitching that was expected before the start of the season. 

"The five walks (is) a message to the team right now," Smith said. "I think what you have to do is set your sights on what the level of play is in our league and where we want to be at that point. And understand that yes we got the W today, but we got a lot of improvements to make and certainly the thing that jumps out is cutting down those walks."

All weekend long the Sun Devils have been honoring past alumni — outfielder Gage Canning who was a fifth round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft threw out the ceremonial first pitches. 

As for the game itself, the Sun Devils got to a quick offensive start in the first two innings — adding five runs to their monstrous 30 from the previous two games. 

The Irish responded with a light sprinkle of runs throughout the game — one in the second inning, two in the third and later a home run from sophomore designated hitter Niko Kavadas in the ninth.

During the sixth inning, relievers senior Sam Romero, who walked two batters, and freshman Erik Tolman were able to get out of the jam and keep the Irish from scoring.

By the end of seven complete innings the Sun Devils would go on to score at least one or more runs in each inning. 

So, with a premature offensive power seen throughout the three-game series for ASU, two big questions arise; what is the big takeaway and what does this mean for the rest of the season? 

"It's a tribute to again our guys staying on the approach," Smith said. "We're not stupid enough to think it's going to be that easy every single time out but if you stick with your approach its nice to see the positive results.

"Indicators for us that we are a mature team is that we are going to now erase what doesn't matter, that weekend is over with. Now we focus on our midweek opponent," he said.

ASU will welcome the University of San Diego (3-0) in a one-game series on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. MST.  

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

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