ASU Baseball: Bishop rakes and Marsh dominates in 8-0 win

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

Two towering home runs from Hunter Bishop and a brilliant performance on the mound from Alec Marsh guided ASU baseball to 8-0 win over Michigan State.

In the offseason, Hunter Bishop’s main focus was to simplify the game while also staying back on the baseball at the plate. Too often in the young outfielder’s career, he had waved at curveballs late in the count and chased bad pitches out of the zone.

But now nine games into his junior season, Bishop is a different hitter at the plate.

“Sometimes it takes guys a little bit longer to let the game come to them,” coach Tracy Smith said after the win. “He’s a talented player. He’s always been a talented player. I think maybe the difference a little bit is that guys grow up. He’s a junior now, this is what it’s supposed to look like.”

Bishop’s patient and cool, but still powerful, swing has resulted in a team-leading four home runs through the Sun Devils’ first nine contests, with two of those bombs coming on Friday night in ASU’s 8-0 rout of Michigan State (1-7).

The first of Bishop’s two dingers came in the third inning – a 435 foot three-run blast that put ASU up 3-0. His second blast, an even more monstrous 450 foot homer, capped off the Sun Devils’ run total for the night in the eighth.

In addition to making a diving catch in right-center field, Bishop’s two home runs accounted for half of ASU’s runs on the night.

Aside from Bishop’s exploits at the plate was another brilliant performance on the mound from ASU’s ace and Friday starting pitcher, Alec Marsh.

The righty went seven innings, surrendered just five hits, two walks and shut out the Spartans’ offense to improve his ERA on the season to 0.83.

But as impressive as Marsh’s numbers were, his coach was not as enthusiastic about his performance.

“I wouldn’t say it was his best performance,” Smith said. “He made the pitches that he needed to, but he wasn’t as sharp as (he usually is).

“I guess I’m a tough critic.”

Although Marsh did not receive a five-star review from his coach, numbers never lie.

Seven shutout innings combined with another offensive explosion, led by Bishop, equals another win for a surprisingly red-hot Sun Devils squad.

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On Saturday night, ASU faces off against Michigan State for game two of the three-game set. First pitch from Phoenix Municipal Stadium will be at 6:30 p.m.

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