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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils win final game at Packard Stadium

Trever Allen's two-RBI single in the eighth inning gave ASU its 1,122nd and final win at Packard.

Packard Stadium closed its doors after ASU's 4-2 victory over Abilene Christian.
Packard Stadium closed its doors after ASU's 4-2 victory over Abilene Christian.
(Danny Shapiro/House of Sparky)

Through all the emotions Tuesday night, Trever Allen wanted just one thing.

The redshirt junior outfielder wanted to give all 3,466 fans in attendance a proper farewell.

Allen did just that, driving in the game-winning runs in the eighth inning to give No. 21 ASU a 4-2 win over Abilene Christian in the 1,430th and final game at Packard Stadium.

"It definitely goes down as my most emotional hit for sure," Allen said. "I came into the dugout in the seventh inning and was like 'give them what they want. Give the fans what they want.'"

Allen spearheaded rallies in both the seventh and eighth innings, leading off the seventh with a triple with the Sun Devils (31-21) trailing 2-1.

Allen, whose dad was on ASU's 1981 national championship team, scored on the next batter to tie the game then stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning.

Allen took a 2-1 pitch and floated it into left field, scoring two and giving the Sun Devils the lead one final time at their historic 40-year-old ballpark.

"Honestly, it's exactly how I wanted to end this game," Allen said. "I wanted to be the guy to win it tonight. It was an extremely emotional night for myself, for my family, for everybody on the team.

It didn't look like Allen would even be in a position to win the game, though.

The offense struggled to produce early, notching just three hits and one run, a first-inning RBI double from junior catcher Nate Causey, against the Wildcats (17-33) in the first six innings.

Coach Tim Esmay thought his team was tense for most of the game, citing big-game jitters for their early struggles.

"I think we played a little tight to be honest with you," Esmay said. "I think we came out and tried to make it happen."

Freshman starter Seth Martinez kept the Sun Devils in the game, allowing just two runs (one earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

Fellow freshman Hever Bueno replaced Martinez in the sixth inning and allowed the second Wildcat run to score on a wild pitch, but the rest of the bullpen stepped up after Allen gave it the lead.

Freshman Eder Erives and sophomore Jordan Aboites (4-2) tossed scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth then sophomore closer Ryan Burr struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save of the season and the Sun Devils seventh-consecutive win.

Barring a miracle, there will be no more games played at Packard but Esmay, who grew up a Sun Devil and played his college career at Packard, couldn't imagine a better way for it to go out.

"There were some tears," Esmay said. "I grew up in this place."

ASU closes out its regular season in Pullman against Washington State this weekend.

Cory Hahn

Cory Hahn threw out the final first pitch at Packard and both Esmay and Allen, one of Hahn's best friends at ASU, shared some words about him:

Esmay: "I'll be honest with you, I've been keeping it bottled up. It's been tunnel vision, but it really hit me when Cory was out there and it was for Cory. What he's meant to us and what he's done in the program and for that young man to go out and throw a baseball? That young man has changed my life."

Allen: "When you think of notable guys that have been in this program, you think of Cory Hahn now. Even though he's stepped on the field a few times, it's what he's done off the field and what he's done in the program and for the program that matters most. I feel honored to be one of his friends and to share that time with him."

Player Reaction

Many ASU players reacted to the final game at Packard on Twitter. Here's a sample of the best: