TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona State baseball team used an early offensive outburst and another quality start from right-hander Darin Gillies to secure an 8-6 series-clinching win over No. 9 Oregon on Sunday at Packard Stadium.
The Sun Devils (26-21, 14-10) won their third three-game series over a team ranked in the top 15 for the first time in school history. They have 12 victories over ranked opponents this season, including 10 against top-15 teams.
ASU recorded its sixth Pac-12 series win of the season and moved back into a tie for third place in the conference with six Pac-12 games left to play, including the final weekend at Packard Stadium against Utah May 16-18.
Gillies (2-4) did not allow an earned run on just two hits in six innings to secure his first win since Feb. 27. This was his third start of the season in which he did not concede an earned run across six or more innings. He bookended a perfect first inning with a pair of swinging strikeouts and stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the third inning en route to his sixth quality start of the season.
The Devils knocked in five runs in the first inning and added one in both the second and fourth frames to take a 7-0 lead. A two-out RBI single by center fielder Johnny Sewald in the seventh extended ASU’s lead to six, but the Ducks (36-16, 14-10) scored four in the top of the ninth to pull within a pair.
Right-handed reliever Eder Erives (1) took over with one out and the tying run on second base in the ninth, and induced a run-scoring groundout to first base and a pop fly to shortstop Drew Stankiewicz to earn his first career save and close out the series finale.
First baseman Nate Causey recorded three hits for the first time since April 5 and leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this season. Outfielders Jake Peevyhouse, Chris Beall and Sewald combined to drive in five runs on three hits and scored three runs, and catcher Brian Serven added a pair of hits, a RBI and two runs scored.
ASU used a pair of run-scoring singles and two RBI doubles in the opening inning to take a 5-0 lead. Sewald was hit by a pitch to begin the frame and stole second before plating the first run of the game on a RBI double from Peevyhouse. Designated hitter RJ Ybarra reached base in the next at-bat on a throwing error by Oregon shortstop Mark Karaviotis, and Causey and Serven each drove in a run with a single and a double, respectively. Beall capped off the inning with a two-out, two-run single to right field to stretch the Devils’ advantage to five.
Sewald reached base on a fielder’s choice in the second inning and moved to third on a single by Stankiewicz before coming home on a fielder’s choice by Peevyhouse. Stankiewicz knocked a double to left field in his next at-bat in the fourth and Ybarra plated him two batters later with a RBI single through the left side as ASU took a commanding 7-0 lead.
UO third baseman Mitchell Tolman scored the Ducks’ first run of the game on a passed ball with two outs in the sixth after he walked and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a flyout.
ASU right-hander Jordan Aboites gave up a solo home run to second baseman Aaron Payne in the top of the seventh, but the Devils countered with a run in the bottom of the frame to keep their advantage to six, 8-2. Aboites allowed just two base runners and one hit and struck out a pair in two innings of relief.
Right-hander Ryan Burr put the tying on base with one out in the top of the ninth after he conceded three runs on three hits and three walks. He induced a flyout for the first out of the inning before he loaded the bases on two walks and a single and then allowed three runs on two more singles and a walk.
Oregon starting right-hander Brando Tessar (4-1) was handed his first loss of the season after he surrendered seven runs, including four earned, on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.