ASU baseball took control of Friday's game against Washington State in a blink of an eye. Four straight hits to start the game by ASU produced three of four runs scored in the first inning in a 10-0 win in Phoenix.
Redshirt freshman center fielder Joe Lampe began the first inning with a double. Then, redshirt junior shortstop Drew Swift, redshirt freshman second baseman Sean McLain and freshman designated hitter Ethan Long followed up with RBI hits.
The Sun Devils continued to apply pressure by scoring at least one run in five of the first six innings. Redshirt freshman Kai Murphy hit a 412-foot two-run home run to right field during the sixth inning.
"We didn't get four (runs) and stop playing and let them back in it," Murphy said. "We stayed on the gas (pedal)."
ASU's win marked the third time the team produced 10 runs or more in a game this season.
ASU head coach Tracy Smith said he moved Lampe up to the leadoff spot in the order because redshirt junior Hunter Jump was unavailable, as he was attending his brother's wedding, and wanted a left-handed batter toward the top of the order. Smith is unsure whether he will keep Lampe at the same spot moving forward.
Freshman pitcher Brock Peery received his first collegiate start on the mound, which he said was the first of his life in a postgame press conference. Peery had not yet thrown for more than 1.1 innings in a single appearance but pitched 6.2 shutout frames against Washington State.
"I've been used to coming in throw in one, two, maybe three innings," Peery said. "So, I usually would throw at like 100%. I was just throwing about 80% pretty much the whole time and it was a big difference."
He faced his most precarious situation in the sixth inning when he had runners on second and third with one out. Pitching coach Jason Kelly came to the mound but left the freshman in. Peery then forced a chopper to freshman third baseman Hunter Haas, allowing him to tag out the lead runner, and subsequently struck out the next batter.
"We've been hit with some unfortunate injuries, but what that does is create opportunities for other guys," Smith said. "Just like last Friday, some guys who, if you play it out, don't get that opportunity to do that have taken advantage of those opportunities and threw the baseball really well. And (Peery) gave his team a chance to win tonight, and I'm very proud of Brock's performance."
ASU will face Washington State in the second game of the series on March 27 at 2:05 p.m. MST.
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