TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona State University baseball team scored three runs in the fourth inning to break open a tie game and defeat New Mexico, 8-5, on Wednesday night in front of 2,590 fans at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Junior first baseman Nate Causey knocked a two-out, two-run double to right field and sophomore designated hitter RJ Ybarra followed with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to give the Devils a three-run lead.
Right-hander Jordan Aboites (1-0), who has started seven games at shortstop this season, earned his first career win in his first pitching appearance of the year. He allowed just one hit and recorded three strikeouts across 2 1/3 scoreless innings after he took the mound with two outs in the top of the third inning and struck out the first batter he faced to end the Lobos’ four-run frame.
A trio of relievers combined to concede one hit and one walk over the next three frames and sophomore right-hander Ryan Burr (2) struck out the side in the ninth inning to collect his second save in as many appearances out of the bullpen.
Sophomore right-hander Eric Melbostad struck out one and walked one in the sixth inning, right-hander Eder Erives tossed a scoreless seventh inning and right-hander Hever Bueno struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth inning.
The Devils (8-6) scored seven of their runs with two outs and six players registered multi-hit games, including Causey, who led the way with three RBI on a pair of hits and scored a run.
ASU fell behind by one run in the top of the first, but responded with three of their own in the bottom of the frame to take the lead, 3-1. Sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale drove in the Devils’ first two runs of the game with a two-out double and sophomore right fielder David Graybill added an RBI single two batters later.
ASU added two more runs in the second inning on an RBI groundout by freshman catcher Brian Serven and an RBI single by Causey to jump out to a four-run advantage, 5-1.
A pair of leadoff singles and a sacrifice bunt led to four runs for the Lobos (9-7-1) in the top half of the next frame. They used two RBI singles and an RBI double, and scored on a wild pitch, to chase ASU starting right-hander Zak Miller and tie the game at five runs apiece.
Miller allowed five runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings in a no-decision.
UNM left-hander Ryan Baumgartner (0-1) gave up three runs on three hits in 2 1/3 innings in the loss. Starting right-hander Preston Ryan took a no-decision after he conceded five runs on seven hits in a pair of innings.
Coach Esmay moved to 80-22-1 in non-conference games at ASU…the Devils moved to 122-30 all-time against New Mexico…Graybill made his first career start at right field.
The Devils open Pac-12 Conference play against Washington March 14-16. First pitch on Friday and Saturday is at 6:30 pm PT and the series finale on Sunday is set for a 12:30 pm PT start. All three games will broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060 as well as live streamed via Pac-12.com, and links to both the radio broadcast and live stream can be found on the baseball schedule on thesundevils.com.
Ballots for the All-Packard Team are available now on gamedays at Packard Stadium, so be sure to mark your picks for the best to play at Packard Stadium, or visit azcentral.com to vote online.
Tip Your Cap To Packard Celebration – 1980-89
1981 National Championship team members Alvin Davis (1979-82) and Bert Martinez (1980-83), and former outfielder and 1995 NLCS MVP Mike Devereaux (1984-85) will be honored prior to the game on March 15. Davis, who had his No. 9 honored by ASU in 2006, knocked in 200 runs and hit .362 in his four-year career with the Devils.
Ron Scott, Sun Devil Baseball’s Legacy Supporter from 1980-89, will be honored on the field prior to the game on Sunday, March 16
Season tickets starting at $99, single-game tickets and Mini Packs are on sale now. Admission for ASU students is free with a valid Sun Card. Purchasing season tickets will also give fans first opportunity and priority at selecting seats at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in 2015. Ariz.
Join the conversation all season using the hashtag #OccupyPackard