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Early-inning success helps ASU baseball edge UA 3-2

Despite being outhit 11-5, ASU was able to defeat UA on Saturday night


ASU redshirt junior infielder Drew Swift (6) throws to redshirt freshman infielder Sean McLain (10) on second base during a game against Arizona at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Phoenix on Friday, April 2, 2021. ASU lost 6-7.

ASU baseball beat the UA Wildcats by a score of 3-2 on Saturday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. 

The victory gave ASU its first win of the series after dropping the first two games by scores of 10-5 and 7-6 on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

ASU is now 16-7 on the season and is 4-2 in its last six games.

Sun Devils freshman infielders Jack Moss and Hunter Haas both earned RBIs in the bottom of the second inning to record the first runs of the game. Moss hit a sac fly to left field to score redshirt junior outfielder Hunter Jump, and Haas hit a double shortly thereafter, which advanced freshman designated hitter Ethan Long home.

Only Jump, Haas and redshirt freshman outfielder Sean McLain recorded hits in the game for the Sun Devils. Jump had three hits and both Haas and McLain recorded one apiece. ASU batters struck out a total of 10 times in the game. 

The Wildcats scored their first run of the night in the top of the third with a single.

ASU tagged back with an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a single from Jump that scored McLain.

UA scored its second run by grounding into a double-play in the top of the eighth but was only able to pull within one run.

On the mound, ASU only featured two pitchers throughout the contest. Redshirt junior left-hander Justin Fall got the start, pitching through the first six innings of the game. Fall recorded four strikeouts and allowed just one run on 95 pitches.

"We are nearing the halfway mark and I feel like we are hitting our stride all together," Fall said.

He was relieved by redshirt sophomore right-hander Will Levine, who pitched the remaining three innings.

Levine allowed three hits and recorded three strikeouts to seal the win for ASU, earning a save.

66.4% of ASU's pitches were strikes in the game compared to just 58.5% for Arizona.

"I was proud of the way our guys kept battling and making the pitch and playing good defense behind," head coach Tracy Smith said. "The last couple nights, that had gotten away from us a little bit, tonight we made the plays and got a much better result."

The Sun Devils will travel to Tucson on Tuesday to play Wildcats for the fourth time in a row. Tuesday's game will be the final regular-season meeting between the two teams.

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