ASU baseball overpowers Utah for fourth straight win
MAY 17, 2014 3:40a ET
Right fielder Trever Allen hit a triple to left field to start off the seventh inning, and third baseman Dalton DiNatale broke a 2-2 tie with a run-scoring double in the next at-bat. A single and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out before a pair of errors by the catcher at home plate and a two-run double by left fielder Jake Peevyhouse extended ASU's advantage to 8-2.
The Sun Devils (28-21, 15-10) did not commit an error for the fourth consecutive game while their defense made a number of key plays, including a double play in the sixth inning that negated a leadoff walk. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz made a diving stop behind second base on a hard-hit grounder up the middle and flipped the ball to second baseman Tucker Esmay, who made the out at second before throwing over to first to complete the double play.
Peevyhouse led the Devils with three RBI and DiNatale collected a pair of hits, including a solo home run, to go along with two RBI and two runs scored. Esmay added two hits and a pair of runs, and center fielder Johnny Sewald scored twice.
Starting left-hander Brett Lilek struck out five and put together his eighth quality start of the season as he scattered five hits and a pair of runs across six innings in a no-decision.
A trio of right-handed relievers closed out the final three innings of the game, including Eder Erives (2-1), who struck out the side in the seventh inning to earn his second career win. Hever Bueno tossed a scoreless eighth and Eric Melbostad gave up a run-scoring single in the ninth before he induced a foul pop-up to third base to secure the win.
Sewald scored the first run of the game when he doubled down the left-field line to open the first inning, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Stankiewicz and came home on a RBI groundout to second base from Peevyhouse.
The Utes (16-31, 4-21) responded with four hits, including a two-run double, in the second inning to take a 2-1 advantage, but DiNatale led off the bottom of the frame with a solo home run over the right-field fence to knot the score at 2-all.
Lilek recorded a lineout to start the third inning and struck out the next two batters, but a wild pitch on the second strikeout allowed Utah first baseman T.J. Bennett to reach first and extend the inning. Lilek then issued two consecutive walks to load the bases but struck out his third batter of the frame to leave all three runners stranded.
Utah starting right-hander Mitch Watrous (4-5) took the loss after he allowed six runs, including five earned, on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.