ASU Baseball: Sun Devils dominated with runners on base

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Joey Hooft /

ASU baseball poured it on UC Davis in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday as the Sun Devils cruised to a 13-3 win to improve to 6-0 on the season.

The bases were loaded in the bottom of the fifth, and Arizona State catcher Lyle Lin was in the batter’s box.

The Devils had already racked up three runs on four hits in the inning, and the score was a lopsided 9-2 against UC Davis.

When it comes to hitting, it is never easier to succeed than when the whole team is doing it. Lin blasted a 3-1 fastball over the left field fence to extend the lead to 11 runs.

Studies of MLB hitting from 2012 has showed that batting averages jump by 50-70 points if the previous two batters in the lineup got hits as opposed to getting outs, according to Bleacher Report.

“Hitting is contagious” has been preached by seemingly every baseball coach from little league to the majors, and through six games, Arizona State has passed the bat off exceptionally.

In five of six games, the Devils have scored double digit runs, an average 10.67 per matchup. They were third in the nation in scoring entering Saturday, before the Devils participated in a doubleheader where they put up 16 runs.

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ASU’s scoring this season in many instances has come by rallies. It has had six five-run or more innings already.

Arizona State has been dynamite with runners on base. In Saturday night’s win, the Sun Devils were 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

On Feb. 16, they hit just two home runs but were 11-of-20 with runners in scoring position en route to putting up 20 runs for the first time since 2010.

When the opportunity to score runs presents itself, Arizona State has relished the moment, and a huge reason why is the depth of the lineup.

“If you’re a one trick pony, it’s easy to pitch around him and make someone else beat you,” said head coach Tracy Smith. “If you pitch around (Spencer) Torkelson, you got a probably first round guy behind him (Hunter Bishop). If you pitch around him you got a guy who been a very good hitter over the past two years (Lin) and if you pitch around him you have (Carter) Aldrete.”

All 10 of ASU’s starting hitters from Saturday’s games have an OPS above .760 and eight players are slugging .500 or better.

When asked about the team’s ability to rally, junior Myles Denson (3-for-5 against UC Davis) alluded to his team’s approach.

“We’ve been saying is that we are going to look away and react in and I think that our lineup is good enough hitters that we all can afford to do that,” Denson said. “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that were going to hit.”

As a team, ASU’s on base percentage is .473. With the success it has had once runners are on, it is no wonder the Devils are 6-0 for the first time since 2010, the last season when they made the College World Series.

Next. ASU Baseball: Lin leads Devils to lopsided 13-3 Victory. dark

The rate at which they are scoring seems far-fetched to maintain, but the plate discipline, hard contact throughout the lineup and clutch hits are promising signs that this ASU offense will continue to be a force when conference play rolls around.

All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.