Timely hitting lead ASU baseball past No. 20 UNLV

TEMPE, Ariz. — Starting freshman right-hander Seth Martinez put together a career-long outing and the Arizona State baseball team tallied four two-out RBI to secure a 5-2 win over No. 20 UNLV on Tuesday night at Packard Stadium.

The Sun Devils (20-14) moved to 7-2 this season against ranked opponents and head coach Tim Esmay notched his 50th win over a ranked team at ASU.

Martinez spread six hits and a pair of runs across a career-high six innings in a no-decision, a trio of relievers allowed just one baserunner over the final three frames and the pitching staff did not issue a walk for the third time this season.

Freshman right-hander Eder Erives (1-0) collected his first career win and sophomore right-hander Ryan Burr (7) recorded his seventh save of the season. Burr now has 19 career saves, third most in school history.

Martinez tossed four scoreless frames to begin the game before the Rebels (25-12) scored one each in the fifth and sixth innings to take the lead, 2-0. ASU responded with five unanswered runs over the next three innings behind a two-hit, two-RBI performance by redshirt junior second baseman Tucker Esmay and a pair of run-scoring doubles by sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale and freshman catcher Brian Serven.

UNLV shortstop Matt McCallister doubled and was plated two batters later on an RBI single by second baseman Justin Jones to record the first run of the game in the fifth inning, and first baseman Patrick Armstrong hit a solo home run in the sixth to stake UNLV a two-run advantage.

DiNatale and Serven hit consecutive two-out doubles in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at two runs apiece. Freshman shortstop Colby Woodmansee drove his sixth sacrifice fly of the season into left field in the seventh to bring home Esmay, who led off the frame with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

A single and two walks loaded the bases for Esmay in the eighth inning and he delivered a two-out, two-run single up the middle to extend the Devils’ lead to three, 5-2.

Ervies and fellow freshman right-hander Hever Buneo pitched back-to-back perfect frames in the seventh and eighth inning. The duo combined to strike out three, including a pair by Erives, to set up Burr, who struck out two.

UNLV starting right-hander Kenny Oakley (3-3) took the loss after conceding three runs on five hits in seven innings.