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ASU baseball scores in five consecutive innings, defeats Nebraska 14-1

The Sun Devils went 2-4 with bases loaded, scoring eight runs in those at-bats


ASU junior infielder Gage Workman (14) throws to first in a game against Nebraska on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona. 

ASU baseball scored in five consecutive innings in a 14-1 win over Nebraska Saturday night in Phoenix.

The Sun Devils capitalized with the bases loaded to score a majority of their runs, going 2-4 and scoring eight runs in those at-bats.

Junior right fielder Aaron Palensky hit his second home run of the series to lead off the second inning and put Nebraska (1-7) up 1-0.

ASU (8-3) struck back with a leadoff home run of its own in the bottom of the fourth when junior left fielder Trevor Hauver sent one deep to right-center field to tie the game.

After a double and a single to put runners on the corners with one out after Hauver's score, sophomore designated hitter Erik Tolman hit a sac fly to left field to bring in junior right fielder Hunter Jump, giving the Sun Devils a 2-1 lead.

ASU built up more offensive momentum in the bottom of the fifth, stringing together a single, a double and an intentional walk. Hauver then drew a walk to bring in sophomore center fielder Dusty Garcia to double ASU's lead.

The Sun Devils kept pouring on runs with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, as Jump hit a double into right-center field to clear the bases. Another double by junior second baseman Drew Swift put ASU up 7-1 to finish a five-run inning.

"I think Jump's hit got us going and created that separation," head coach Tracy Smith said. "A lot of the guys are picking up the slack, (having) good at-bats."

After struggling early in the season, Swift said the hitters focused much more on their mechanics to straighten out their swings.

"The Monday before Oklahoma State, it was more of a business day," Swift said. "We just focused, put our heads down and went to work. And that's when it sort of started clicking for the majority of us."

ASU loaded the bases again an inning later with two singles and an intentional walk. Hauver hit a sac fly into left field to score senior catcher Nick Cheema

The Sun Devils loaded the bases for a third straight inning after a single was sandwiched between two walks in the bottom of the seventh. Senior outfielder Myles Denson grounded into a fielder's choice, but brought in Swift to score.

Freshman infielder Nathan Baez scored on a wild pitch at the next at-bat to give ASU a 10-1 lead.

The Sun Devils scored four more runs in the bottom of the eighth, including a two-run double from freshman infielder Brian Kalmer.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Thornton collected his second win of the season, striking out eight batters and only allowing one run.

Thornton noted how he needed to adjust his strategy at the plate after giving up a run in the second, but trusted his pitches to continue to record outs. 

"Our game plan is to just go after them with fastballs, and today they hit it pretty well," Thornton said. "So, I had to go to my slider a lot. But, I felt pretty good."

ASU will finish up its series against Nebraska in search of a sweep on March 1 at 12:30 p.m. MST at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. 

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Jeffrey HorstDigital editor-in-chief

Jeffrey Horst is the digital editor-in-chief of The State Press. He previously served as the publication's sports editor and worked at Cronkite News and

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