BSB | Sun Devils Avoid Sweep In Pitchers' Duel
Ken Waldichuk went Strikeout for Strikeout versus ASU's Boyd Vander Kooi, but the Gaels were edged 2-1 in the series finale
PHOENIX - A dazzling performance on the mound by Ken Waldichuk went for naught Sunday, as the Saint Mary's baseball team was edged 2-1 by host Arizona State in the series finale, as the Sun Devils avoided a sweep with an impressive start on the mound of their own at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Waldichuk (1-1) and ASU starter Boyd Vander Kooi (2-0) were both strikeout machines Sunday. They matched each other K for K, logging putdowns in every inning they pitched but the sixth. Waldichuk tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts while Vander Kooi posted nine. Both pitchers struck out three batters in an inning, Waldichuk in the fourth an Vander Kooi in the first.
- The Sun Devils (3-4) finally broke through against Waldichuk in the fourth inning with a two-out solo home run from catcher Lyle Lin. It was the same way they first struck on the scoreboard in Saturday's game, with a solo shot. The home run broke up what had been a perfect game up to that point, as Waldichuk retired 11 straight with seven Ks to start the game.
- Saint Mary's (4-3) tied the game in the top of the sixth with a two-out rally. Jackson Thoreson, who was the only Gael with multiple hits Sunday, hit a two-out double down the left field line. Two pitches later Austin Chauvin dropped in a single in front of the right fielder, scoring Thoreson and making it 1-1.
- But SMC couldn't get the shutdown inning in the bottom half as ASU played small ball. Gage Workman was sacrificed to second after a leadoff bloop single. Then the Sun Devils' leading hitter Gage Canning drove him home with a single into the right-center field gap, putting ASU up for good at 2-1.
- Saint Mary's got base runners on in both the seventh and eighth inning but could not tie the game. Joe Vranesh led off the seventh with a five-pitch walk and Thoreson hit a two-out single in the eighth, but both were stranded at first.
- 0: Waldichuk did not issue a walk in his 7 2/3 innings of work, and neither did Conner Loeprich when he relieved him in the eighth. It was the second time this season the Saint Mary's pitching staff did not give up a free pass all game (Feb. 16 at Long Beach State).
- 5: The Gaels were held to just five hits, their second-lowest hits total of the season. They did have one double (Thoreson), keeping alive their streak of seven straight games with at least one extra base hit.
- 10: Waldichuk's career-high 10 strikeouts gave the Gaels double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back games. The staff struck out 12 Sun Devils on Saturday and struck out nine on Friday.
- 11: Saint Mary's hitters struck out 11 times themselves. It was the third time this season the SMC lineup struck out at least 10 times.
- Saint Mary's returns to Moraga next week for its first home games of the year when it hosts Big East Conference member Xavier for a three-game series starting Friday. The Musketeers have been to the NCAA Regionals in three of the last four seasons.
- Tickets for these and all home games can be purchased on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.
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