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ASU Baseball: Devils complete sweep of Cardinal

Brian Serven had five hits and Brett Lilek added seven effective innings in the win.

Courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics.
Courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics.

No. 13 ASU baseball continued its hot start to Pac-12 play Sunday afternoon, beating Stanford 14-6 to complete the weekend sweep.

The Sun Devils improved to 18-7 overall and 7-2 in conference play with the victory.

"Skip really preaches how good teams really need to win all three games of the series," sophomore catcher Brian Serven said. "We really had a good mindset today and came out firing which was really nice to see."

It was all Devils from the start, tallying two runs off Cardinal junior starter Logan James in the opening inning.

James walked the first three batters he faced then gave up an RBI single to Serven, the start of a five-hit day for the sophomore catcher.

Serven struck again in the third inning, engineering another two-run scoring inning which culminated in Serven scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI single from fellow sophomore catcher Zach Cerbo.

The Sun Devils and Serven extended the lead in the fifth when Serven led off with a single and scored three batters later on a single from sophomore third baseman David Greer.

There was no threat on the pitching side as junior starter Brett Lilek kept the Cardinal hitters guessing all day, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Lilek allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings in his fourth Sunday start of the season, a performance coach Tracy Smith said the junior desperately needed.

"We needed that," Smith said. "We talked about that as he needs to give us that type of outing on a Sunday and I was very proud of him for doing what he did because he knew his back was against the wall in terms of staying in the rotation."

Serven made sure Lilek was able to pick up his second win of the season, bombing a solo home run over the left field wall in the seventh for his fourth hit of the day.

Junior catcher R.J. Ybarra added to the lead four batters later, launching his own home run, this one a two-run shot, over the left field wall to extend the lead to 8-1.

The Cardinal (10-14, 0-6) struck back for four runs in the eighth to cut the Sun Devil lead to 8-5, but Serven came to the rescue once again in the bottom of the inning.

Serven took a 1-1 pitch and golfed it over the left field wall for his second home run, a three-run shot, in as many innings, to give the Sun Devils back their cushion and complete his five-hit day.

The five-hit performance was the first for a Sun Devil since March 2012 and, according to Serven, the best hitting day of his life.

"I was really just trying to hit the ball hard," Serven said. "The goal is just to hit it hard every time and barrel it up."

The Sun Devils tacked on two more in the bottom of the eighth and junior closer Ryan Burr, who entered the game in the eighth inning, gave up a run in the ninth but earned his 10th save of the season.

The Sun Devils return to action Tuesday at home against New Mexico State before heading to Utah next weekend.