ASU Baseball: Sun Devils drop first game, but win series at Oregon

It took a 12th-inning walk-off home run by Oregon pinch hitter Evan Williams to prevent ASU baseball from reaching 22-0, but the Devils still won the series.

It was the last remaining undefeated team in Division 1, an incredible feat that landed ASU in the top-10 in the Coaches Poll.

During the Sun Devils’ loss on Saturday, its offense went uncharacteristically silent for the first six innings, and the team trailed 4-0. Oregon starter Robert Ahlstrom struck out eight hitters and allowed just five hits in six frames.

Then, the Sun Devils jumped on the Ducks’ bullpen.

Spencer Torkelson drove in two runs on a base hit in the seventh inning, and Gage Workman tied the game with an RBI single in the eighth.

ASU’s relief arms held the Ducks scoreless for 8.2 frames before Brady Corrigan allowed the game-winning blast. Its standout was freshman Erik Tolman, who threw 4.2 innings without allowing a run after starter Boyd Vander Kooi was pulled in the third (four earned runs and five walks).

During the other two games, Arizona State earned two commanding wins. The Sun Devils won on Friday, 12-2, and on Sunday, 7-3.

The story of game one was another remarkable outing from junior Alec Marsh. He tossed 6.2 innings and gave up no runs, his second-straight performance of six-plus shutout innings.

Through seven appearances, Marsh has allowed just three earned runs, and has not given up more than one in any game. His era is now 0.65.

As for the Sun Devil offense, which entered the series ranked second nationally in scoring, it put up 19 runs on 27 hits in games one and three. Hunter Bishop continued to show off his power by blasting two home runs in game one, his 13th and 14th of the year. His teammate, Torkelson, led the nation in long balls in 2018, and Bishop is in prime position to do the same this season.

With the series win, Arizona State improved to 22-1 overall and 5-1 in Pac-12 play. Next on the slate is Arizona, who will visit its rivals in Phoenix for a three-game set starting on Friday.

The Wildcats sit at 13-10 after being swept by No. 1 UCLA. Arizona defeated ASU three times out of four in 2018, but the Devils were just a .500 team when the two first matched up last year.