Baseball’s Season Ends With 5-4 Regional Loss To Sacramento St
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The No. 2 seed Arizona State University baseball team scored twice in the ninth inning and put the tying run 90 feet away, but was unable to complete the comeback in a 5-4 loss to No. 4 seed Sacramento State in an elimination game at the NCAA San Luis Obispo Regional on May 31 at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Freshman David Greer opened the ninth inning with a double and sophomore RJ Ybarra followed with a pinch-hit two-run homer over the wall in left-center field to cut ASU’s deficit to one. Juniors Drew Stankiewicz and Jake Peevyhouse added a pair of singles to put runners on the corners with one out, but Stankiewicz was caught in a rundown on the third-base line after a short chopper from junior Nate Causey and junior Trever Allen took strike three looking on a full count to end ASU’s season.
The Sun Devils finished the year with a 33-24 record, including a 19-11 mark in Pac-12 Conference play.
Starting left-hander Ryan Kellogg scattered a pair of runs on six hits and four walks across seven innings as he turned in his eighth quality start of the year and went seven innings for the eighth time this season. He struck out a pair in the no-decision to finish the season with a career-best 66 strikeouts.
Sacramento State took a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth, but ASU responded with a pair of runs in the top of the subsequent inning to tie the game, 2-2. The Hornets (40-23) capitalized on a fielding error by the Sun Devils in the eighth and notched three runs to retake their lead, 5-2.
Allen ended the season on a team-high 15-game hitting streak, Peevyhouse tallied a pair of hits and reached base in 23 consecutive games to close out the year, sophomore Johnny Sewald added a pair of hits, and Ybarra and fellow sophomore Dalton DiNatale each drove in a pair of runs.
Sophomore right-hander Jordan Aboites (5-3) took over in the eighth, his 30th appearance of the season, and was responsible for three runs, including one earned, in the loss.
Hornets right fielder Nathan Lukes knocked a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line in the bottom of the fifth to stake Sacramento State a 2-0 advantage after a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners at the corners. A pair of walks then loaded the bases, but ASU second baseman Tucker Esmay made a diving backhanded catch to end the frame and keep ASU’s deficit to a pair.
DiNatale delivered in the top of the sixth with a two-run bloop single to shallow center field to knot the game at two runs apiece. Peevyhouse, who doubled down the right-field line, and Causey, who reached on a throwing error by Hornets third baseman Will Soto, both came home on DiNatale’s base hit.
Sacramento State drove in three runs in the eighth behind a leadoff walk, a fielding error, two singles and a bases-loaded walk.
Hornets right-hander Alex Palsha (6-1) collected the win after closing out the final two innings of the game. Starting right-hander Brennan Leitao went seven innings and gave up two runs, including one earned, on five hits and struck out four in a no-decision.
ASU turned a 5-4-3 double play to escape a jam in the bottom of the fourth as the Hornets threatened with runners on the corners and just one out….ASU went 7-9 in one-run games this season.
Head coach Tim Esmay moved to 11-8 all-time in the postseason, including 8-4 in regional play
ASU moved to 166-74 all-time in NCAA postseason play
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