No. 8 ASU baseball finds offensive groove, downs Boston College 8-4

The Sun Devils had two home runs on nine hits in the game

No. 8 ASU men's baseball defeated Boston College by a score of 8-4 on Saturday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

Junior first baseman Spencer Torkelson got the bats rolling for ASU with a 428-foot solo home run to deep center field in the bottom of the first inning. The home run was his third of the season and 51st of his NCAA career.

"I think it certainly jump-starts the offense," head coach Tracy Smith said of the first inning homer. "It puts you out to a lead, but it puts a little fear into (the other team's) dugout, too."

Following Torkelson's home run, ASU struggled to add to its lead. The Sun Devils left seven runners on base through the first four innings of the game and loaded the bases once, but were unable to capitalize.

ASU's lead eventually evaporated, with BC sophomore right fielder Sal Frelick leading off the top of the sixth inning with a home run to center field to tie the game 1-1.

Eagles freshman infielder Luke Gold hit a single that got past Sun Devils' junior third baseman Gage Workman, but was thrown out at second base after trying to stretch his hit into a double. His hit did bring home sophomore third baseman Cody Morissette to give Boston College a 2-1 lead.

On the first pitch at the bottom of the sixth, ASU junior right fielder Hunter Jump homered to right field to tie the lead at two.

The floodgates opened for ASU later in the inning, after junior second baseman Drew Swift scored from third on a wild pitch after he distracted BC redshirt junior pitcher Michael Marzonie.

"I am sure (BC's) pitcher was just locked in," Swift said. "I was just doing everything I could to create a passed ball, create some situation where you can score."

Smith later praised the move Swift made to score the first of his two runs.

"The maturity and the base running to distract that guy .. .I thought (Swift) did a good job distracting him," Smith said. "You got to do the little things to try and (score runs), which is what we did."

After Swift scored, left fielder Trevor Hauver singled to center to advance senior catcher Nick Cheema and Torkelson home to increase ASU's lead to 5-2.

Sophomore starting pitcher Tyler Thornton recorded five strikeouts and 67 strikes on 101 pitches through the first six innings in the game.

"I felt pretty good," Thornton said of his performance. "I was just trying to stay in the zone, pounding fastballs until they proved me they could hit it. It worked out pretty well today."

ASU scored its sixth run of the night after Cheema hit a sacrifice fly ball to right, sending home freshman infielder Brian Kalmer. During the following at-bat, Swift stole home on a wild pitch, sending ASU into the eighth inning up 7-2. 

"We really emphasized hitting the ball on the line instead of in the air," Swift said on the team's hitting improvement. "It's paid off for me, it's paid off for (Torkelson), it's paid off for Trevor."

BC's offense showed life in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs on three consecutive hits—the first two of them doubles—and an error to cut ASU's lead to 7-4.

ASU tacked on another run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth on a single to right field from Swift, which advanced freshman right-handed pitcher Nick Wallerstedt home from second.

BC was unable to score in the ninth as ASU picked up its fourth win of the season.

No. 8 ASU (4-3) hosts Boston College once more on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. MST at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.


Reach the reporter at aklatsky@asu.edu and follow @averyklatsky on Twitter. 

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