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Sun Devil fans can rejoice as ASU baseball finished out its season-opening series against Dixie State with a 17-8 victory on Sunday. The Sun Devils came out on top of the series 2-1.
With so much up in the air in regards to other sports in Tempe, ASU baseball showed glimpses of a team ready to once again be a pillar of Sun Devil athletics.
Sun Devils’ offense is capable of new heights
Through the team’s first series of the season, ASU managed to score 26 runs. The Sun Devils’ biggest outing in the three-game series came on Sunday when they scored a whopping 17 runs. Those 17 runs are more than any single-game total for ASU last season.
The offensive success was certainly a team effort, but centerfielder Joe Lampe and first baseman Conor Davis proved to be the shining stars of this unit. Davis and Lampe both scored at least one run in each game of the Dixie State series.
“It’s been an emotional day, emotional week,” Davis said following the team’s season opener. “It’s been so much about getting my knee right the past couple of months, [and] now it’s all about us.”
ASU closed out its offensive onslaught on Sunday with two grand slams.
ASU’s pitching staff is still coming into its own
The Sun Devils gave up 25 total hits in their three-game series against Dixie State. While that may be an acceptable total matched with a top-tier baseball program, it’s not against the Trailblazers.
With that being said, it’s not overly concerning for Sun Devil fans right now. There’s still so much time left for this rotation to develop. Not to mention, the way the offense played, it looks like the pitching staff will have that time.
Left-handed pitcher Adam Tullock started on the mound for ASU on Friday. Tullock racked up 7 strikeouts and didn’t allow a single hit in his debut for the Sun Devils.
“There’s always pressure, but that’s what we live for, that’s what we train for,” Tullock said following the team’s first win. “You work through it, and use it as a little bit of fire in you and fuel it, so [I] love it.”
Willie Bloomquist can get ASU back on top of the Pac-12
Over the school’s history, ASU has arguably been more of a baseball school than anything else. Even so, the Oregon State Beavers and Arizona Wildcats appear to be the clearcut heavyweights of the conference.
The two schools are sitting at a combined 7-0 through the first few games of the new season. However, now that Sun Devils manager Willie Bloomquist has his first series at ASU under his belt, there’s clear promise for the program.
Dixie State may not be a real powerhouse baseball program, but it was certainly a good start for the Sun Devils. ASU will look much different this season than it has in recent years with Bloomquist leading the charge.
“We put them in vulnerable situations where we were able to put up some big innings,” Bloomquist said following the end of the series. “So it was nice seeing the offense come together. I liked that, but we certainly have a lot more work to do on both sides of the ball.”