ASU baseball wins 8-0 in first of three games against Michigan State

ASU's early command and a sound showing from pitcher Alec Marsh lands the team its ninth straight win

On a 3-0 count, Sun Devil junior outfielder Hunter Bishop blasted his first home run of the night and in the bottom of the eighth — well over the "NCAA National Champions" sign. Junior starting pitcher Alec Marsh went solid through 7.0 IP, with six strikeouts and allowed five hits in his third straight win.

"Compared to last week when I didn't think I had much and I still went eight innings. To me it's just about taking it one inning at a time," Marsh said, pitching through seven innings. "Every time I go out there, it's getting us back in as fast as we possibly can." 

The undefeated ASU baseball team's (9-0) 8-0 win over Michigan State (1-7) on Friday opened its first of a three-game series with the Spartans. The last time the Sun Devils set cruise control on a significant win streak was during the 2009-10 season when they won 25 straight.

Per usual, the Sun Devils' offense connected early on with hits in the first four innings. Marsh came dealing, having struck out five batters and allowed just three hits.

Things only went up from there for the Sun Devils when sophomore infielder Gage Workman hustled to second and then third on a failed Spartan pick-off attempt.

With no outs and a man on third, the Sun Devils extended their lead in the fourth inning to four after an RBI from sophomore infielder Alika Williams. Meanwhile, Marsh wouldn't budge on the mound, leaving two men on base for Michigan State in the fifth inning and three-up-three-down in the sixth.

The Sun Devils responded with their second tri-runs in the sixth. After Williams reached to second on a fielding error by MSU, junior outfielder Myles Denson would get things going for the team with a blasting RBI triple down the right-field line. 

"A couple nights ago, last time I played, it really doesn't matter if I'm pinch hitting or a start," Denson said. "Every at-bat is insanely important. You got to take it for what it is." 

Back-to-back walks allowed the Sun Devils to load the bases and score an unearned run on junior Lyle Lin's walk.

Heading into the seventh inning, Marsh set it with three quick outs.

"I wouldn't say it was (Marsh's) best performance, but it's a pretty good thing when you're saying it's not his best performance and he shuts a team out through seven," coach Tracy Smith said. "He wasn't as sharp maybe as normal, but still kept his pitch count down, gave his team seven innings and held the opposition to no runs." 

ASU will do it all over again with Michigan State on Saturday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. MST.


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

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