ASU baseball downs Washington State 6-5 to complete series sweep

The undefeated Sun Devils stand alone in Division I baseball with 19-game winning streak

And then there was one. 

No. 25 ASU baseball's 6-5 win and sweep over Washington State (6-13, Pac-12 0-3) on Sunday put the Sun Devils at a perfect 19-0 overall and 3-0 Pac-12 record – making ASU the only undefeated team in Division I baseball after an NC State loss.

While the Sun Devils bask in the glory, in the team's mindset they "haven't done anything yet" with still a lot of baseball to be played.

"It's kinda cool to be the last man standing, last program standing. But I don't know what all that means," coach Tracy Smith said. "I guess it means you've won a lot of games this early in the season."

With the help of sophomore infielders Drew Swift who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Alika Williams who went 4-for-4 with two RBIs, the Sun Devils recorded their 19th straight win, tying for third-best start in school history.

Swift, who had only played in nine games this season, said he found it "hard to sit back" to all the Sun Devils wins. 

"It was not fun on the bench and, as I said, I was urging to get back in yesterday's game," Swift said. 

But the Sun Devils didn't start their Sunday win to a perfect start, as an error from Williams in the first inning allowed the Cougars to take a 1-0 lead.

Just when the Cougars looked to gain offensive ground, Williams singled and then stole second to Washington State's lead in jeopardy. 

A dropped ball by Cougars freshman outfielder Koby Blunt allowed the Sun Devils to score an unearned run and Swift followed with a sharp RBI double down the right-field line, putting ASU ahead 2-1 in the second inning.

In the third inning, the Cougars got a hit-by-pitch, single and wild pitch to put them in a sweet spot with men on second and third. 

Cougars freshman designated hitter Kyle Manzardo gave his team a 3-2 lead on an RBI single to center field, but the Sun Devils responded with Williams yet again hitting an RBI single, tying the game at 3-3.  

In the fifth inning, Swift was able to bring Williams home to break the tie for his second RBI of the afternoon on a single to left field. 

Junior outfielder Hunter Bishop, who went 1-for-4, extended his hitting streak to 11 in the sixth inning on an RBI double down, giving the Sun Devils a comfortable 6-3 lead.

Unlike his previous start, freshman left-handed pitcher Erik Tolman earned the win by keeping the Cougars scoreless in his 2.1 innings. But when a pitching change in the seventh inning brought in freshman right-handed pitcher Blake Burzell, the comfort started to wear off. 

Through Burzell's 0.2 innings, he hit the leadoff batter and allowed a single to right field, warming things up for the Cougars. A bunt to Burzell allowed runners to move 90 feet, putting the Sun Devils in a jam. 

The Cougars made it a one-run game off a wild pitch by Burzell and grounder to second. Replacing Burzell was sophomore right-handed pitcher Brady Corrigan, who prevented his opponents from taking the lead by retiring the side. 

It wouldn't be a complete win without junior left-handed pitcher Chaz Montoya earning his second save in the ninth inning with a bases loaded, two outs strikeout.    

"It's called being a savvy vet," Montoya said.

ASU will return for a midweek game in Phoenix against California Baptist (14-6) on Wednesday, March 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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