ASU baseball delivers in the seventh to take series opener over Wildcats

No. 9 ASU baseball put up a four-run seventh inning en route to defeat rivals UA

In front of 6,059 people, the second largest attendance since leaving Packard Stadium, No. 9 ASU baseball's (23-1, 6-1 Pac-12) controlled pitching led to a 8-2 win over Arizona (13-12, 2-5 Pac-12) on Friday. 

"We won't reveal all of our secrets," coach Tracy Smith said on what dictated the team's win. "We still have two games to play, but I thought he (Alec Marsh) did a really good job of executing all of his pitches and keeping them off stride."    

The junior starting right-hander gave the team a stellar start through 6.1 innings. Marsh allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four, and the win increased his record to 7-0.   

Marsh entered the game with a 0.65 ERA — sixth in the nation — and finished the night with a 0.94 ERA. 

"It was fun with how many lefties they had. Our game plan going in, talking to (pitching coach Mike) Cather (was), 'alright we're going to start mixing pitches,'" Marsh said. "'First pitch, we're going to start using your changeup a lot more tonight.' I was pretty excited I was like, 'about time, finally I get to do that.'"

As the Sun Devils' offensive power built up throughout the game, the team released with a four-run seventh inning, sealing its win over the rival Wildcats.

Sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson got things going with a home run shot to left field. A Wildcats' wild pitch then allowed junior outfielder Hunter Bishop to score the team's sixth run of the night. 

Sophomore infielder Gage Workman's single would bring in the last two runs of the night.

Workman ended the night going 3-for-4, and Torkelson went 3-for-5, both combining for three RBIs.

With Torkelson only notching five home runs this season, many are left wondering when he's going to start producing.

Smith said he's guilty of thinking that way too, but when he looks at Torkelson's stats, "he's hitting .400 and he's got a gazillion RBIs and he's a threat every time he walks up."

"I think as he starts using that middle of the field and going oppo like he did today, that's a great sign for us," Smith said.     

In the seventh inning, the Sun Devils found themselves in a potential game-tying jam when freshman left-handed pitcher Erik Tolman entered for Marsh, who allowed a home run with one out.

Tolman then walked three batters — loading the bases for the Wildcats with now two outs against them. But sophomore right-hander Brady Corrigan would get the team out of the jam by a foul out to Workman.

With 2.1 innings, Corrigan completed the night by recording his first save of the season, allowing one hit while striking out three. 

"It's been a little problem for me — I come in, I do well, get us out of the jam — and then I can't finish it, so it definitely felt good tonight," Corrigan said.

The rival teams will go head-to-head again on Saturday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. MST.  


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

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