One night removed from a long, drawn-out battle against Stanford, Arizona State used a pair of mistakes by Cardinal right fielder Jonny Locher to cruise to a 6-3 win on Saturday night. The victory clinched their third conference series win and kept Stanford winless in Pac-12 play.
"We all had the mentality that we were going to go out and win no matter what," center fielder Johnny Sewald said after the game. "Together as a team we all felt a lot better."
Sun Devil starter Ryan Kellogg got off to a bit of a shaky start on Saturday night, allowing a double against the first batter he faced. The early mistake would end up costing him one run, but the maroon and gold battled back in the bottom half of the first to pick up a run and pull even.
The junior southpaw was dealing from that point on. He only allowed one more run and scattered seven hits through his six innings of work, earning him his fifth win of the year.
"We got the win and that's all that matters," Kellogg said following the game. "At the end of the day, they were pretty much free swingers and whatever you threw they were going to swing at. That's sort of how it worked."
With one out and one man on in the second inning, Joey Bielek lifted a relatively routine fly ball into right field. Stanford's Locher would end up losing the ball in the lights, giving Arizona State runners at second and third and changing the direction of the ball game for good.
David Greer and Johnny Sewald both did their jobs after that, jumping on the mistake and singling in a pair of runs. Just like that the Sun Devils had a two run cushion, which felt like enough with the dominant Kellogg on the mound.
"My thing is getting on base and scoring runs," says Sewald. "I'm just trying to see the ball and put together good at bats."
The Cardinal pulled within a run thanks to a Tommy Edman RBI single in the fifth, but another blunder in right field in the bottom half of the frame allowed Arizona State to stretch the lead yet again. With one out and a man on first, Jake Peevyhouse jumped on a 3-2 pitch. The right fielder misplayed the ball from the start and his diving attempt back at the warning track came up empty, scoring an insurance run and getting Peevyhouse all the way to third.
The Sun Devils would end up adding two more runs in their half of the fifth, pushing the lead to 6-2 and ending any thoughts of a possible comeback. Stanford added one last run in the seventh before closer Ryan Burr came on in the eighth and ninth innings to shut things down. The save was Burr's ninth of the season.
Arizona State is now 17-7 (6-2), and the Cardinal dropped to 10-13 (0-5) with the loss. The Sun Devils will go for the sweep tomorrow at 12:30 PM, with left-hander Brett Lilek getting the start on the mound for the maroon and gold.