SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Right-hander Seth Martinez shined on short notice and the No. 2 seed Arizona State University baseball team put the tying run on base in the each of the final two innings, but fell to No. 3 seed Pepperdine, 3-2, in the opening game of the San Luis Obispo Regional on May 30 at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Starting left-hander Brett Lilek was injured trying to cover first base on a fielder’s choice force out in the top of the first inning and was taken out of the game just 15 pitches into his outing. Martinez took over with two outs and recorded a swinging strikeout to end the frame.
Martinez allowed two runs on a pair of walks and two base hits in the second inning, but settled down and retired the next 16 batters he faced, including five consecutive perfect frames. He struck out a career-high seven and did not allow a baserunner until a leadoff single in the eighth inning.
The Sun Devils (33-23) trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the second inning, but used a solo home run by Trever Allen and a RBI single by first baseman Nate Causey to pull within a run through four frames. ASU held Pepperdine scoreless for the final seven innings, and put the go-ahead run on base in eighth and the tying run on base in the ninth, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Right-hander Jordan Aboites tossed a pair of scoreless innings in his team-high 29th relief appearance of the season. He replaced Martinez with a runner on first in the eighth inning and capped off three straight outs with back-to-back strikeouts, including a swinging strikeout to Pepperdine All-American center fielder Aaron Brown.
The Waves (40-16) took an early 3-0 lead behind one run in the first inning and two in the second.
Third baseman Austin Davidson singled to right field with one out in the top of the first inning and advanced to third base on a wild pitch before he scored the first run of the regional on a RBI fielder’s choice from Brown. Causey threw right fielder Bryan Langlois out at second and ASU shortstop Drew Stankiewicz tried to turn the double play with a throw to first, but Lilek was unable to get in position on time and was injured on the play.
A two-out, two-run double by Davidson extended Pepperdine’s lead to three in the top of the second. A walk, a base hit and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third for the Waves. Martinez induced an infield fly but walked the next batter to load the bases for Davidson.
Allen drove the first pitch he faced in the bottom of the second inning over the left-field fence for a solo home run, and his team-leading fifth of the season, to cut the Devils’ deficit to two, 1-3.
ASU pulled within one, 2-3, behind a two-out RBI single from Causey in the bottom of the fourth. Stankiewicz led off the frame with a single and moved to third on a wild pitch and a groundout by left fielder Jake Peevyhouse before he scored on Causey’s team-high 65th hit of the season.
The Devils put the tying run on second base and the go-ahead run on first with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning via a pair of walks, but a flyout to center field and a looking strikeout stranded both runners and ended the frame.
Allen lined a single up the middle to put the tying run on base with two outs in the ninth, but a swinging strikeout halted the late rally.
PU starting right-hander Corey Miller (9-4) earned the win after he allowed two runs on three hits and four walks in 7 1/3 innings. Right-hander Eric Karch closed out the ninth with a pair of strikeouts to collect the save (14).
ASU moved to 10-6 all-time, including 3-2 in the postseason…Allen extended his hitting streak to 14 games…Peevyhouse has reached base in 22 consecutive games, the longest streak on the team this season…ASU moved to 15-4 this season in games they do not commit an error.
Head coach Tim Esmay moved to 11-7 all-time in the postseason, including 8-3 in regional play
ASU moved to 166-73 all-time in NCAA postseason play
San Luis Obispo Regional
Game 1 | No. 3 Pepperdine 3, No. 2 Arizona State 2
Game 2: 6 p.m. PT | No. 4 Sacramento State at No. 1 Cal Poly
Saturday, May 31
Game 3: 1 p.m. PT | Arizona State vs loser of Game 2
Game 4: 6 p.m. PT | Pepperdine vs winner of Game 2
Sunday, June 1
Game 5: 1 p.m. PT | Winner of Game 3 and Loser of Game 4
Game 6: 6 p.m. PT | Winners of Game 4 and Game 5
Monday, June 2 *
Game 7: 6 p.m. PT
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