TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University baseball team notched the program’s nation-leading 52nd consecutive 30-win season behind a 14-6 victory and three-game series sweep over Utah on Sunday at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (30-21, 17-10) closed out the final conference game in Packard Stadium history with a win, extended their winning streak to six games for the first time since 2012 and improved to 7-2 in their past nine conference games.
The baseball program’s streak of 30-win seasons began in 1963 and is two more than the next closest Div. I team, Florida State. The Sun Devils have never had a losing season in their 56 years, and three head coaches (Jim Brock, Pat Murphy and Tim Esmay) have never won fewer than 30 games.
ASU jumped out to a quick 6-1 advantage behind three unearned runs in the opening frame and a three-run homer by designated hitter RJ Ybarra in the second, but the Utes (16-33, 4-23) responded with five in the top of the third to knot the game at six runs apiece. ASU countered with three runs in the bottom of the frame and never ceded the lead as they added five more over the final four innings.
Ybarra tallied a three-run homer, his first career triple and four RBI, and center fielder Johnny Sewald went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz added three hits, including his third home run of the season, and third baseman Dalton DiNatale collected three hits and scored two runs.
Right-hander Seth Martinez (5-0) picked up his fifth win of the season and a quintet of right-handed relievers followed with five scoreless innings. Eric Melbostad struck out a pair in the fifth, Cory Bernard and Eder Erives each allowed just one hit in the sixth and seventh, Jordan Aboites recorded two strikeouts in the eighth and Ryan Burr caught the final batter of the game swinging.
Sewald, who singled to lead off the first and moved to third on a stolen bag and a base hit from Stankiewicz, was caught in a rundown on a soft grounder by Ybarra but Utah catcher AJ Young dropped the ball on the tag to allow the first run to score. First baseman Nate Causey followed with a RBI groundout and a fielding error by Utes second baseman Kody Davis put ASU up by three, 3-0.
A pair of errors by ASU and a RBI single from Utah right fielder Josh Rose cut the Devils’ advantage to two in the top of the second, but Ybarra recorded his 40th RBI of the season with a three-run homer to left field in the bottom of the frame to put ASU ahead, 6-1.
The Utes drove in five runs on just one hit and four walks in the top of the third to tie the game at six runs apiece. They loaded the bases with three straight walks to start the third inning and erased the Devils’ five-run lead with a sacrifice fly, a run-scoring wild pitch and a three-run homer.
ASU broke the 6-6 tie with three runs in the bottom of the third on a throwing error by Utah, a RBI single from second baseman Tucker Esmay and a passed ball. The Devils added two in the fifth on Stankiewicz’s solo home run and a RBI groundout from Ybarra, and Sewald added a sacrifice fly in the sixth before he drove in a run-scoring single to right field in the eighth and Stankiewicz followed with a RBI double down the left-field line.
Starting right-hander Darin Gillies allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 innings but walked four batters in the third and was replaced by Martinez.
Utah left-hander Dylan Drachler (1-2) took the loss after he gave up three runs, including two earned, on three hits in the third inning. Starting right-hander Dalton Carroll conceded six runs, including three earned, on five hits in a pair of innings in a no-decision.
ASU moved to 35-5 all-time against Utah and has won the past 26 consecutive games over the Utes dating back to March 26, 1960…outfielders Trever Allen and Johnny Sewald both extended their hitting streaks to nine games…Sewald’s 14 stolen bases are the most by any Sun Devil in the past three seasons…Peevyhouse has reached base in 17 consecutive games, the longest streak on the team this season…the Devils hit five home runs over the weekend, two more than their previous three-game series season high…tied their season high with 14 runs and scored double-digit runs for the sixth time this season.
The Devils will host the final regular-season game at Packard Stadium on 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. The game will be streamed live online and broadcast on NBC Sports Radio AM 1060. Live stats will also be available.
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.
Renewals for current Sun Devil Baseball season ticket holders are available now for the 2015 season at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. 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