There aren't that many ways to start a season in a more impressive fashion than how the Arizona State baseball did this weekend by sweeping Notre Dame with three blowout victories.
The Sun Devils' 16-5 win on Sunday capped off an opening series in which they outscored the Fighting Irish by a combined score of 36-13.
"It's a tribute to our guys staying on the approach," Sun Devils head coach Tracy Smith said. "We're not stupid enough to think it's going to be that easy every single time out, but if you stick with your approach it's nice to see the positive results. You want to build off that."
Seven Sun Devils drove in a run. First baseman Spencer Torkelson and centerfielder Hunter Bishop each had a team leading four hits and combined for seven RBI. Bishop hit the Sun Devils' lone home run of the game in the first inning, which set the tone for the day. Starting pitcher RJ Dabovich got his first win of the season after allowing three runs with four strikeouts in five innings.
Saturday was the Sun Devils best display of lumber. Carter Aldrete went off with a home run and six RBI, leading ASU to a 20-7 win. Four other Sun Devil hitters drove in multiple runs, providing their pitchers with more than enough run support.
Notre Dame was actually leading 5-3 through the first four innings. Lyle Lin's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning was the start of 17 unanswered runs. After Boyd Vander Kooi was off the hook after allowing five runs in 3.2 innings, Blake Burzell claimed the win after two strikeouts in two shutout innings.
Arizona State's 10-1 season opening win on Friday seemed tamed in comparison. Torkelson led the way with three RBI, as did catcher Sam Ferri. The real star of that game was starting pitcher Alec Marsh, who threw 6.2 innings allowing only one run on four hits with 10 strikeouts for his first win of the season.
The Sun Devils go into the week with a home game against San Diego on Wednesday and a weekend series against UC Davis.
Photo courtesy of Arizona State athletics