ASU’s season has come to a close after its second loss in the Cal Poly regional against Sacramento State, falling 5-4. Entering the ninth inning down 5-2, the Sun Devils scored two runs in the inning and had a great chance to tie the game with a runner on third and two outs remaining but couldn’t close it out.
It was a scoreless contest for much of the game, until the bottom of the fifth inning, when a 2 RBI double by Sacramento State sophomore Nathan Lukes opened up the scoring for the Hornets. ASU answered in the very next frame by tying it up off a 2 RBI single by sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale.
The game would remain 2-2 until the bottom of the eighth. Sophomore Ryan Kellogg, who started the game for the Sun Devils, was replaced by sophomore Jordan Aboites and ASU struggled with Aboites on the mound. Two more Hornets runs scored before Aboites was taken out for sophomore closer Ryan Burr. Sacramento State would score again in the inning after a bases loaded walk.
Down three runs with the season on the line, the Sun Devils started the ninth inning fired up. Freshman first baseman David Greer opened up the inning with a leadoff double, which was followed up with a home run by sophomore designated hitter RJ Ybarra.
Eventually the Sun Devils found themselves with the tying run, junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz, on third with two outs remaining. After a fielder’s choice by junior catcher Nate Causey, Stankiewicz was called out on interference trying to score the run. ASU again had the tying run on third, this time junior left fielder Jake Peevyhouse, as well as Causey on second.
Junior right fielder Trever Allen struck out looking with a full count to end the Sun Devils’ season.
The loss went to Kellogg, who in seven innings pitched gave up two runs and six hits but also had two strikeouts. Of the six batters Aboites faced, he gave up two hits and three runs, one earned.
DiNatale batted 1-3 with 2 RBI, while Ybarra’s only at bat in the game lead to the 2 RBI home run, his fourth of the season. Peevyhouse batted in his 14th double of the season and scored a run.
It was a disappointing end for ASU, as it entered the postseason as one of the hottest teams in college baseball. It had won nine of its last 10 regular season games and was named a No. 2 seed in the Cal Poly regional. The losses to No. 3 Pepperdine and No. 4 Sacramento State brings the final record on the season for ASU to 33-24.
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