Things kicked off for the Sun Devils in the top of the first when Williams went three-up, three-down. Long Beach State then committed an error in the bottom half of the inning; allowing Drew Stankiewicz to reach base. Stankiewicz later scored on a James McDonald double, giving the Sun Devils an early 1-0 lead.
Both teams were quiet in the second. Williams got the Dirtbags to record another three-up, three-down inning. Jake Peevyhouse reached on an error in the bottom of the second, but was stranded on base after David Graybill struck out.
The Dirtbags showed signs of life in the third with a lead-off double, but after a hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt, and a double play, the Long Beach State half of the inning was over. The Sun Devils were also scoreless in their half of the inning.
The fourth and fifth innings were uneventful for the Dirtbags and the Sun Devils as both teams were scoreless and hitless.
The sixth was favorable for ASU as Long Beach State went three-up, three-down for the third time in the game. Power struck again for James McDonald as he struck a solo homerun over the right-field wall in the bottom of the inning. The Sun Devils pulled ahead of the Dirtbags 2-0.
Things heated up once again for the Sun Devils in the seventh inning. Back-to-back triples from Michael Benjamin and Jake Peevyhouse, and a sacrifice fly from Graybill allowed ASU to add two more runs. Those ended up being the final runs of the game as the Sun Devils went on to win the game 4-0.
“I think it felt great”, said Williams after the win. “We need to boost my pitch count up. I mean it’s the fourth weekend of the season. It felt good. I didn’t throw too much last night so my arm was okay for today. I’m going to put a good week of work in before I’m in on short rest. It’s only six days so it won’t be that bad.”
Kasey Coffman has been a strong leadoff hitter so far this season. He is arguably one of the Sun Devil’s hottest hitters at the moment. How does the outfielder feel about being leadoff? “I just like getting on base”, said Coffman. “We got a lot of good hitters behind me so it’s fun to get on base. I know if I get to second base with less than two outs, I’m usually going to score.”
Freshman Ryan Kellogg put together another outstanding outing. Coming off a win against the #2 ranked Arkansas, the lefty allowed just two hits in his seven innings of work against the Dirtbags. He gave up one walk, while striking out five. The 6-0 shutout secured Kellogg’s third win.
“I’m hoping to stay in the starting role,” says Kellogg, “I’ve feel like I’ve proved myself a little bit in the last couple of starts. I’m just trying to come out and not change anything. It seems to be working so far. Keep throwing strikes and hopefully the role will continue.”
When asked about if choosing ASU over the MLB Draft had been the best move for the freshman, he had nothing but positive feelings towards his decision. “I’m definitely feeling at home. We have a great group of guys here. They’re always willing to help, especially us younger guys. The team chemistry is just incredible. You always know the guys behind you have your back. Nobody feels out of place. We’re just all here as one big unit.”
After just 45 minutes between the two games, Kellogg started things off by pitching a three-up, three-down inning. Both teams were scoreless through the first two innings.
Thanks to a double from Graybill, a single from Coffman, and a single from Stankiewicz in the bottom of the third, ASU was able to get on the board first with two runs.
Long Beach State tried to duplicate the Sun Devil’s runs, but was only able to manage one hit. Power struck again in the bottom of the fourth as Trever Allen hit a homerun to left-field, increasing the Sun Devil lead to three.
Both teams were scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Dirtbags showed signs of life in the top of the seventh, but Kellogg got out of a jam; leaving two on base. Almost every Sun Devil batter in the line-up saw action in the bottom of the seventh. The ASU half of the inning provided plenty of action for the fans. Freshman Dalton DiNatale hit his first career RBI on a fielder’s choice. Kasey Coffman followed with another RBI fielder’s choice, while Max Rossiter hit a RBI single. The Sun Devils led 6-0 headed into the eighth.
Following Kellogg, seniors Alex Blackford and Matt Dunbar combined for two scoreless innings, leading to a 6-0 Sun Devil win over the Dirtbags.
What’s next? LHP Adam McCreery will take the mound for the Sun Devils in the series finale, facing RHP Jon Maciel. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.