TEMPE, Ariz. - A six-run seventh inning and a sure-handed defense powered the Arizona State University baseball team to its fourth consecutive win and a 9-3 victory over Utah on Friday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Right fielder Trever Allen hit a triple to left field to start off the seventh inning and third baseman Dalton DiNatale broke open the 2-2 tie with a run-scoring double in the next at-bat. A single and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out before a pair of errors by the catcher at home plate and a two-run double by left fielder Jake Peevyhouse extended ASU’s advantage to six, 8-2.
The Sun Devils (28-21, 15-10) did not commit an error for the fourth consecutive game as their defense made a number of key plays, including a double play in the sixth inning that negated a leadoff walk. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz made a diving stop behind second base on a hard-hit grounder up the middle and flipped the ball to second baseman Tucker Esmay, who made the out at second before throwing over to first to complete the double play.
Peevyhouse led the way with three RBI and DiNatale collected a pair of hits, including a solo home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Esmay added two hits and a pair of runs, and center fielder Johnny Sewald scored twice.
Starting left-hander Brett Lilek struck out five and put together his eighth quality start of the season as he scattered five hits and a pair of runs across six innings in a no-decision.
A trio of right-handed relievers closed out the final three innings of the game, including Eder Erives (2-1), who struck out the side in the seventh inning to earn his second career win. Hever Bueno tossed a scoreless eighth and Eric Melbostad gave up a run-scoring single in the ninth before he induced a foul popup to third base to secure the win.
Sewald scored the first run of the game after he doubled down the left-field line to open the first inning, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stankiewicz and came home on a RBI groundout to second base from Peevyhouse.
The Utes (16-31, 4-21) responded with four hits, including a two-run double, in the second inning to take a 2-1 advantage, but DiNatale led off the bottom of the frame with a solo home run over the right-field fence to knot the game at two runs apiece.
Lilek recorded a lineout to start the third inning and struck out the next two batters, but a wild pitch on the second strikeout allowed Utah first baseman TJ Bennett to reach first and extend the inning. Lilek then issued two consecutive walks to load the bases, but struck out his third batter of the frame to leave all three runners stranded.
Utah starting right-hander Mitch Watrous (4-5) took the loss after he allowed six runs, including five earned, on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
ASU moved to 33-5 all-time against Utah and has won the past 24 consecutive games over the Utes dating back to March 26, 1960…Peevyhouse reached base for the 15th consecutive game, tied for the second longest streak on the team this season...ASU is 14-2 this season when they do not commit an error…All three of DiNatale’s home runs this season have led off an inning.
The Devils host Utah at 6:30 pm on May 17 for the final regular season Saturday game at Packard Stadium. The contest will be streamed live online and broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Live stats will also be available.
SATURDAY: Pregame Senior Day ceremony
SUNDAY: Packard Family celebration
Saturday’s Projected Pitching Matchup
UTAH: RHP Zach Adams (0-5, 3.56 ERA)
ASU: LHP Ryan Kellogg (7-2, 3.36 ERA)
Tip Your Cap To Packard Promotions
The final game at Packard Stadium is Tuesday, May 20, at 6:30 pm against Abilene Christian. ASU graduate and former Sun Devil student-athlete Cory Hahn will throw out the final ceremonial first pitch and all fans in attendance are invited onto the field following the conclusion of the game to take a group photo, which will be available for purchase.
Postseason Banquet | Register HERE!
Join the Sun Devil Baseball program and fellow supporters for an unforgettable evening. The 31st annual Baseball Postseason Banquet will be held on May 27 on the outfield grass at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $60 or buy a table for 10 people for $600. Fans can also sponsor a student-athlete’s dinner for $60. There will be open parking in front of Packard Stadium in Lot 59.
Seat selection at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for current Sun Devil Baseball season ticket holders will begin the week of May 12 and run through May 16. Tickets under loyalty pricing, which ends Aug. 1, range from $99 for lawn seating to $335 for reserved/infield box, and season parking passes cost $35.
Sun Devil Athletics is holding an open house for the general public to get a firsthand look at Phoenix Muni on Saturday, May 17 from 2-5 p.m.
Transitioning The Legacy Campaign
Season ticket holders will also have an opportunity to make a capital campaign commitment towards the Phoenix Muni renovations. All gifts, no matter the size, are important and appreciated, and can be a one-time gift or a five-year pledge. Fans interested in naming opportunities at Phoenix Muni can contact the Sun Devil Club at 480-727-7700. All commitments are tax-deductible through the Sun Devil Club. Join our community and own a piece of our hometown team.
Join the conversation all season using the hashtag #OccupyPackard