ASU Baseball: DiNatale powers Sun Devils to fourth-straight win

(Danny Shapiro/House of Sparky)

DiNatale and ASU scored six runs in the seventh inning to break the game open.

"Tequila sunrise" is now a mainstay.

Sophomore third baseman Dalton DiNatale had a home run and the game-winning double in the decisive seventh inning for ASU baseball, which beat Utah 9-3 Friday night to stay undefeated in their throwback uniforms.

"I thought we were only going to wear them one time, but they've been kind of lucky for us," DiNatale said. "If it's not broke, don't fix it."

The Sun Devils (28-21, 15-10 Pac-12) introduced the retro jerseys during 80's weekend against USC and are 5-0 in the jerseys worn by the 1981 national champions, including wins in their past three home games.

DiNatale was the key force behind the victory, belting his third home run of the season in the second inning then gave the Sun Devils the lead for good in the seventh with an RBI double following a leadoff triple from redshirt junior outfielder Trever Allen.

Coach Tim Esmay said his team will stick with the jerseys, especially if it means more stellar performances from DiNatale.

"He (DiNatale) had two of the biggest at-bats of the game," Esmay said.

The game wasn't always in hand as the Sun Devils and sophomore starter Brett Lilek fell behind early to the Utes (16-31, 4-21).

Lilek allowed a two-run, two-out double in the second inning to Utes third baseman Biss Larsen but didn't surrender another run over his final four innings.

The defense picked up Lilek, who finished with a no-decision, all night, most notably in the sixth inning when junior shortstop Drew Stankiewicz and redshirt junior second baseman Tucker Esmay turned a spectacular double play.

DiNatale said the web gem sparked the offense, which put the game out of reach in the seventh, sending 12 batters to the plate.

"I thought that was a game-changer for us because no one really had the momentum before that," DiNatale said. "That play just kind of put us over the edge and got us fired up."

Freshman reliever Eder Erives struck out the side in the seventh inning to pick up his second victory of the season.

The Sun Devils and Utes return to action tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.

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