TEMPE, Ariz. - First baseman Nate Causey hit two home runs and starting left-hander Ryan Kellogg turned in his sixth consecutive quality start to lead the Arizona State University baseball team to a 7-1 series-clinching win over Utah on Saturday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (29-21, 16-10), winners of five straight, secured their seventh three-game Pac-12 series win of the season and are 6-2 in their past eight conference games.
A special Senior Night celebration began with a standing ovation for senior outfielder and student coach Cory Hahn and ended with senior right-hander Josh McAlister striking out the final batter of the game.
Kellogg (8-2) allowed just one run on one walk and eight hits in seven innings to collect his eighth win this season and the 19th of his career. He has seven outings of at least seven innings in 2014 and moved to 5-0 in his past six starts with nine earned runs and six walks in 45.1 innings.
Causey, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, is the first Sun Devil to hit two home runs in a game since Kasey Coffman on March 29, 2013, against UCLA. His solo shot in the fourth inning tied the game at one run apiece and his two-run homer in the seventh extended the Devils’ advantage to six.
Head coach Tim Esmay notched his 32nd Pac-10/12 Conference series win and his 87th conference victory, both of which rank as the most in school history through the first five seasons at the helm. His 197 wins in under 300 career games at ASU are the second most by any head coach in ASU annals in that period.
Second baseman Tucker Esmay added two hits and drove in a pair of runs, and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse reached base for the 16th consecutive game, tied for the longest streak on the team this season.
The two teams traded runs in the fourth inning before the Devils knocked in six over the next three innings to jump out to a 7-1 lead.
The Utes (16-31, 4-21) struck first in the top of the fourth inning with a double and a run-scoring single to left field from shortstop Cory Hunt, but Kellogg worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the frame to keep ASU’s deficit to one. Third baseman Dalton DiNatale fielded a grounder at third and made the force out at home for the second out and Kellogg induced a flyout to end the inning.
Causey drove a solo home run over the right-field fence in the bottom of the fourth, his third of the season, to tie the game at one run apiece, and ASU took its first lead of the game in the following inning. DiNatale, who led off the fifth with a base hit, came home on a single to right field from Esmay and a fielding error on Utah right fielder Josh Rose.
Esmay knocked a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the sixth inning to push the Devils ahead by three, 4-1, and they added three more in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz singled to open the frame and scored in the next at-bat on a base hit from Peevyhouse and a fielding error by Rose, and Causey followed two batters later with a two-run homer.
Kellogg threw just 16 pitches across a perfect sixth and seventh inning before right-hander Jordan Aboites capped a perfect eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Right-hander Ryan Burr recorded the first two outs of the ninth before McAlister took over.
Utah starting right-hander Zach Adams (0-6) allowed four runs, including three earned, on five hits and four walks in the loss.
ASU moved to 34-5 all-time against Utah and has won the past 25 consecutive games over the Utes dating back to March 26, 1960…outfielders Trever Allen and Johnny Sewald both extended their hitting streaks to eight games.
Cory Bernard, INF/RHP, On track to graduate in Fall 2014 and is a Biological Sciences major
Kyle Bilbrey, INF/OF, Graduated May 2014 with Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Wellness Foundations
Cory Hahn, OF/Student Coach, Graduated May 2014 from the W.P. Carey School of Business with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Communication
Josh McAlister, RHP, Graduated Fall 2013 Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Accountancy program at ASU
Zak Miller, RHP, Graduated May 2014 with Masters in Management from the W.P. Carey School of Business and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science in Spring 2013.
The Devils close out their three-game series with Utah at 12:30 pm on May 18. The final regular season Sunday game at Packard Stadium will be streamed live online and broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Live stats will also be available.
SUNDAY: Packard Family celebration
Sunday’s Projected Pitching Matchup
UTAH: RHP Dalton Carroll (1-4, 5.19 ERA)
ASU: RHP Darin Gillies (2-4, 4.62 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.
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