TEMPE, Ariz. – Sophomore left-hander Brett Lilek allowed just four baserunners in seven shutout innings to lead the 24th-ranked Arizona State University baseball team to a 3-1 victory over No. 19 Tennessee in front of 2,917 fans on Friday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (7-4), winners of five consecutive games, handed the Volunteers (12-1) their first loss of the season.
Lilek (2-0) struck out three and gave up just three hits and one walk to earn his second win of the season. His excellence on the mound can be measured in both innings pitched and runs allowed as he went a career-long seven innings in the win and has not allowed a run in 14 consecutive innings dating back to the fourth inning against Wright State on Feb. 23.
Sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale was relentless at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run, and sophomore designated hitter RJ Ybarra added an RBI single.
Lilek, pitching with confidence and discipline in his third start of the season, stranded six runners on base, including a pair in scoring position in the top of the first inning and one on third in the third. His outings have increased each start as he went six innings against Wright State on Feb. 23 and threw four in his first start of the season against Baylor on Feb. 16.
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Burr (1), who made a selfless decision to move back to the bullpen earlier this week after starting the first three weekends of the season, recorded the final four outs of the game to record the save.
Ybarra’s RBI single punctuated the Sun Devils’ three consecutive base hits to lead off the bottom of the first and gave ASU the early one-run lead. Freshman catcher Brian Serven grounded into a double play in the next at-bat to score redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen from third and extend its lead, 2-0.
DiNatale hit the first pitch thrown in the bottom of the seventh inning over the right-field fence to give ASU a 3-0 lead.
Burr took the mound with two outs in the top of the eighth and experienced a brief stint of humility as he allowed a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced, but he retired four of the next five batters, including a pair of swinging strikeouts, to end the Vols’ threat.
UT starting pitcher Nick Williams (3-1) took his first loss of the season after conceding three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Coach Esmay moved to 79-20-1 in non-conference games at ASU…the Devils moved to 14-2 all-time against Tennessee…Coach Esmay moved to 45-35 against ranked teams at ASU…all three of DiNatale’s career home runs have come at Packard…redshirt freshman left-hander Nick Diamond faced four batters and recorded two outs in the eighth inning.
The Sun Devils host Tennessee on March 8 at 6:30 p.m. MT in the second game of their three-game series at Packard Stadium. The game will be live streamed via Pac-12.com and also broadcast online by Blaze Sports.
UT: RHP Andrew Lee (2-0, 3.60)
ASU: LHP Ryan Kellogg (1-1, 4.50)
The first 750 fans inside the gate on March 8 will receive the 2014 Sun Devil Baseball Trading Card Set
Commemorative Tip Your Cap to the 1990s posters are still available at Packard Stadium
Ballots for the All-Packard Team are available now on gamedays at Packard Stadium. Mark your picks for the best to play at Packard Stadium
Tip Your Cap To Packard Celebration – 1990-99
Former center fielder and 1991 Golden Spikes Award winner Mike Kelly (1989-91) will have his No. 24 jersey honored on March 8 prior to the game. Kelly will join 16 other members of the Sun Devil Family on the prestigious Wall of Fame on the outfield of Packard Stadium.
Sun Devil Legend and 11-year Major League veteran Paul Lo Duca (1993) threw the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.
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