Causey powers red-hot ASU baseball past Utah
MAY 18, 2014 2:21a ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- First baseman Nate Causey hit two home runs and starting left-hander Ryan Kellogg turned in his sixth consecutive quality start to lead the Arizona State baseball team to a 7-1 series-clinching win over Utah on Saturday night at Packard Stadium.
The Sun Devils (29-21, 16-10), winners of five straight, secured their seventh three-game Pac-12 series win of the season and are 6-2 in their past eight conference games.
A special Senior Night celebration began with a standing ovation for senior outfielder and student coach Cory Hahn and ended with senior right-hander Josh McAlister striking out the final batter of the game.
Kellogg (8-2) allowed just one run on one walk and eight hits in seven innings to collect his eighth win this season and the 19th of his career. He has seven outings of at least seven innings in 2014 and moved to 5-0 in his past six starts with just nine earned runs and six walks allowed in 45 1/3 innings.
Causey, who went 2 for 4 with three RBI, is the first Sun Devil to hit two home runs in a game since Kasey Coffman on March 29, 2013, against UCLA. His solo shot in the fourth inning tied the game at 1-all and his two-run homer in the seventh extended the Devils' advantage to six.
ASU coach Tim Esmay notched his 32nd Pac-10/12 series win and his 87th conference victory, both of which rank as the most in school history through the first five seasons at the helm. His 197 wins in under 300 career games at ASU are the second-most by any head coach in ASU annals in that period.
Second baseman Tucker Esmay added two hits and drove in a pair of runs, and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse reached base for the 16th consecutive game, tied for the longest streak on the team this season.
The two teams traded runs in the fourth inning before the Devils knocked in six over the next three innings to jump out to a 7-1 lead.
The Utes (16-31, 4-21) struck first in the top of the fourth inning with a double and a run-scoring single to left field from shortstop Cory Hunt, but Kellogg worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the frame to keep ASU's deficit to one. Third baseman Dalton DiNatale fielded a grounder at third and made the force out at home for the second out and Kellogg induced a flyout to end the inning.
Causey drove a solo home run over the right-field fence in the bottom of the fourth, his third of the season, to tie the game at one run apiece, and ASU took its first lead of the game in the following inning. DiNatale, who led off the fifth with a base hit, came home on a single to right field from Esmay and a fielding error on Utah right fielder Josh Rose.
Esmay knocked a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the sixth inning to push the Devils ahead by three, 4-1, and they added three more in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz singled to open the frame and scored in the next at-bat on a base hit from Peevyhouse and a fielding error by Rose, and Causey followed two batters later with a two-run homer.
Kellogg threw just 16 pitches across a perfect sixth and seventh inning before right-hander Jordan Aboites capped a perfect eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Right-hander Ryan Burr recorded the first two outs of the ninth before McAlister took over.
Utah starting right-hander Zach Adams (0-6) allowed four runs, including three earned, on five hits and four walks in the loss.