Baseball wins 17-2, completes series sweep
The 15th-ranked Arizona State baseball team completed its opening-series sweep of Western Michigan on Sunday, defeating the Broncos 17-2 in front of 2,587 fans at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils outscored WMU 40-2 in 27 innings over the weekend.
Sophomore RHP Trevor Williams, in his first outing as a starter after serving as the team's closer last season, earned the win after giving up just two hits and no earned runs in four innings. Sophomore infielder James McDonald finished with three hits, three runs and four RBIs, and junior catcher Max Rossiter added four hits and four runs to lead the way for the Devils.
ASU collected five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, using a combination of solid hitting and discipline at the plate to give the Sun Devils an 11-1 advantage heading into the latter half of the game.
Western Michigan took the early lead in the second, scoring its first run of the series on a sacrifice fly, but the Devils countered in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by McDonald to tie the game, 1-1.
Junior RHP Alex Blackford loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning, but recorded a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to escape the jam, and finished with two hits and no runs in three innings of work.
Freshman catcher Nathaniel Causey capped off a four-run seventh inning for the Sun Devils with a two-run triple, putting the Sun Devils on top, 16-1.
Redshirt freshman infielder Tucker Esmay collected his first career RBI in the eighth, scoring junior outfielder Andrew Aplin from second on a single up the middle, to push the Sun Devil run total to 17.
Western Michigan starting pitcher Troy Forton took the loss for the Broncos after allowing five runs on four hits in three innings.
The Sun Devils begin a three-game series against UC Riverside on Feb. 24 at Packard Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. with Fox Sports Arizona providing a webcast of the game. Sun Devil Sports Network has the call, which can be heard on TheSunDevils.com/allaccess/.