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ASU Baseball: Early offense propels Sun Devils to series win on Mother's Day

Darin Gillies added six strong innings for his first win since late February.

Junior starter Darin Gillies allowed one run in six innings of work.
Junior starter Darin Gillies allowed one run in six innings of work.
(Danny Shapiro/House of Sparky)

It took a special occasion for Darin Gillies to pick up a victory.

The junior pitched six innings and allowed just one run, earning his first win since Feb. 27 as ASU beat Oregon 8-6 on Mother's Day to earn its third series win over a top-15 team this season.

"Whenever your parents are in town, you want to play well," Gillies said. "It's been great to spend the last couple of days with her (my mom). It was a special moment and pretty cool to go out there and get a win."

Gillies and the Sun Devils (26-21, 14-10 Pac-12) set the tone early, knocking in five runs against Ducks senior starter Brando Tessar in the first inning.

The Sun Devils added a sixth run in the second inning and Gillies, who had a number of quality starts during his winless drought, wasn't going to let the Ducks (36-16, 14-10) back into the game.

"We go up and score five in the first and I was just like 'alright, I've gotta do my job and finish this thing out,'" Gillies said. "It was nice to get runs early."

Gillies (2-4) allowed just two hits and gave up his only run in the sixth inning on a passed ball and said his plan was to keep the ball down on a windy day at Packard with the wind blowing out.

"I think I was just moving the ball around," Gillies said. "I was just getting some weak contact."

The Sun Devil offense, which saw all nine starters get a hit, gave a Ducks starter their first loss of the season for the second straight game.

Tessar (4-1) gave up seven runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings after allowing just nine runs in his first 38 innings this season.

The Sun Devils added another run in the seventh inning, which proved invaluable.

Sophomore closer Ryan Burr gave up four runs in the top of the ninth and the Ducks put the tying run in scoring position with two outs, but freshman reliever Eder Erives stopped the rally and earned his first career save.

Sunday's win pushed the Sun Devils into a third-place tie in the Pac-12 with the Ducks and further cemented their postseason resume, much to the delight of coach Tim Esmay.

"We needed it," Esmay said. "We took the pressure to them and that's a great response by our guys."

The Sun Devils travel to Las Vegas for a midweek matchup Tuesday night against UNLV then return home against Utah next weekend for the final series at Packard Stadium.