Following ASU's loss to USC to end the regular season, Tracy Smith joked that in a perfect world he would get three complete games from his starting pitchers and ASU would advance to the Super Regional round.
After things didn't go according to plan on Friday, Jordan Aboites delivered the best outing of his career to propel the Sun Devils to a 4-1 victory over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles.
Aboites tossed the first complete game of his career, allowing 11 hits, walking one and setting a career high with seven strikeouts. Aboites also set a career high with 117 pitches thrown.
After Seth Martinez allowed five runs in just 2.1 innings on Friday against Gonzaga, Eli Lingos and Aboites have combined to allow just one run in the last 15.2 innings for the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils manufactured a run to take an early lead in the first inning. Leadoff man Gage Canning drew a walk to begin the ballgame, he stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Brian Serven hit a deep fly ball to centerfield to score Canning and the Sun Devils took a 1-0 lead.
ASU tacked on another run in the top of the fourth when Andrew Snow platted Serven on a bloop single to shallow left-centerfield. Serven continued his hot start to the postseason when he launced a 3-0 fastball over the left field fence in the fifth inning with a runner on first base to give ASU a 4-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles did not go down without a fight, as they battled Aboites in the later innings. Oral Roberts finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when Noah Cummings singled home Nick Roark. In the bottom of the 8th, with ASU leading 4-1, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases on one out with two singles following an error by David Greer.
Smith stuck with Aboites and he struck out Brent Williams for the second out of the inning and then induced a ground out to third to end the inning. The Golden Eagles put runners on second and third in the ninth before Aboites was able to strike out Roark to end the game.
Aboites was able to work his way out of trouble several times. He induced double plays to end the fourth and fifth innings and the Golden Eagles left runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings.
ASU will play the loser of Saturday night's winners bracket contest TCU and Gonzaga Sunday at 3 p.m. MT.