ASU bats tie 1963 hitting record before rain washes out finale

ASU’s baseball game got rained out today.  But the real downpour happened yesterday.

Actually, the rain was probably the best thing to happen to Northern Illinois all week.

The No. 5 Sun Devils unleashed a relentless barrage of hitting in the first two games of the three-game home series, piling up 36 runs and tying a 47-year-old school record.   They won the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, 10-5, and then came back in the nightcap to post a 26-1 drubbing of the visitors from the Mid-American Conference.

In the first game, Zach Wilson, the designated hitter, started the Devil scoring by parking a solo home run in the second inning.  Wilson and Drew Maggi, a sophomore from Brophy Prep, each had three hits; Wilson also drove in three runs.  Merrill Kelly started on the mound and went five innings, allowing three hits and three unearned runs, and freshman Brady Rodgers earned the save by taking over for the final four innings, marking his college debut.

But the second game got quickly out of control, as the Devils scored early and often, putting up 20 runs in the first three innings.  The second and third innings turned into batting practice, as the Devils kept batting around until they had run up nine runs in each inning.

By the time the dust cleared and the game mercifully reached an end, a dozen different ASU players had accumulated hits, seven of them getting more than one each.  Ten different players drove in runs in the shortened seven-inning game.

After the game was entered in the books, someone realized that the squad had tied a record set in 1963 by posting six triples in a single game.  Zach MacPhee accounted for two of those triples, which gave him four in just the first three games of the season.  He also went 4-for-4 at the plate.

Jack Borup, the right-handed sophomore from Mesa Mountain View HS, got the win after throwing the first five innings in which he gave up the lone NIU run and four hits.

(Photo credit: Dennis Hubbard, ASU Athletics)