LONG BEACH, Calif. – Starting left-hander Brett Lilek went a career-long six innings and third baseman Dalton DiNatale matched his career high with three RBI to power the 18th-ranked Arizona State University baseball team to a 7-2 win over Wright State on Sunday at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif.
Lilek (1-0) struck out five and allowed a pair of runs on just two hits to earn his first win of the season. He retired eight straight batters in the middle innings, and has allowed just four hits and struck out 12 in 10 innings across two starts this season.
Four Sun Devils (3-4) notched a pair of hits in the win, including DiNatale, who leads the team with seven RBI on the season. Second baseman David Greer scored two runs and recorded an RBI, and designated hitter RJ Ybarra added an RBI, two hits and a stolen base.
ASU scored four runs on a pair of hits and batted around in the top of the first as they jumped out to a 4-0 advantage. Right fielder Trever Allen led off the frame with a ground-rule double and came home on an RBI from Greer, whose grounder was mishandled by the Raiders’ second baseman. DiNatale cleared the bases with a two-run double three batters later and stole third before scoring on another error by the Raiders.
The Raiders (2-4) cut their deficit in half, 4-2, in the bottom of the third after Lilek issued a bases-loaded walk and an RBI fielder’s choice before he induced a groundout to third to strand a pair and end the frame.
ASU countered in the top half of the fourth with an RBI groundout by Ybarra and an RBI single by DiNatale to extend its lead back to four, 6-2.
Pinch hitter Nate Causey added to the Devils’ lead, 7-2, with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth that scored catcher Brian Serven from third, who doubled and moved over on a groundout.
Freshmen right-handers Eder Erives and Hever Bueno combined to allow just three baserunners over the final three scoreless frames. Erives gave up two hits in the seventh and eighth innings, and Bueno walked one batter in the ninth.
WSU starting left-hander Robby Sexton (0-2) took the loss after conceding six runs, including three earned, in 4 2/3 innings.
The Sun Devils head to Surprise, Ariz., Feb. 27-March 2, for the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic at Surprise Stadium, spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. ASU takes on Santa Clara on Feb. 27, Gonzaga on Feb. 28, Oklahoma on March 1 and Oklahoma State on March 2, and each game will begin approximately at 4:30 pm, or 50 minutes after the conclusion of the preceding spring training game.
Coach Esmay moved to 75-20-1 in non-conference games at ASU…ASU is now 5-0 all-time against the Raiders…freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee made his first career start…DiNatale’s three RBI set a single-game high for the Sun Devils this season and is the only Sun Devil this season with two multi-RBI games…Lilek has not allowed an extra base in 10 innings this season and has allowed just one (a double) in 30 career innings…the Devils were hit by four pitches, a season high.
Tip Your Cap To Packard Celebration
17 Days of Greatness – Centerfielder Mike Kelly (1989-91) will become the 17th Sun Devil to have his number honored on the outfield fence in a ceremony on March 8. From Feb. 20 through March 7, we’re taking a look back at the 16 Sun Devil greats whose numbers have already been recognized.
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