(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Arizona State has had the flair for the dramatic in recent games. Tonight was no exception as the “Cardiac Devils” came out in full force. In the end, the Sun Devils grabbed their third walk-off of the season, with Brian Serven once again playing the role of hero. His walk-off walk was the difference in the game. ASU improved to 12-3 on the season with just one game before conference play and continued their case to enter the Top 25. Meanwhile, UC Davis is now just 5-9.
Coming out of the gates strong would not be an appropriate way to describe ASU in the game. They failed to jump on Aggies starter Justin Mullins, who entered the game with a 9.00 ERA in 10 innings. However, timely hitting put them in the driver’s seat for much of the game.
In the end, four walks in the 12th inning propelled ASU to their seventh straight win.
MVP: Martinez was the standout for ASU, mostly because of his first five innings on the mound. Before he ran into trouble in the sixth inning, the right-hander, who went back to starting on Saturday after two consecutive Friday starts, did not allow a hit. He allowed just five total in eight innings, giving a taxed bullpen most of the night off. To add to his strong night, he had 11 strikeouts, his career high, and picked up his fourth win in as many starts on the season. His ERA stands at 1.61.
Unsung Hero: While Sebastian Zawada (go-ahead home run in the sixth) and David Greer (three hits) had good nights at the plate, Jordan Aboites work on the mound saved ASU from a potential loss. Having lost his starting third baseman job for at least the time being, he has been relegated to bullpen duty with the occasional spot start for now. He gave ASU a huge lift with 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
You knew it was over when: Brian Serven’s 12th inning walk scored Jeremy McCuin to clinch the victory.
Biggest concern for ASU: Once again, the Sun Devils blew the lead after holding it for most of the game. In fact, it occurred twice tonight. The first coming when Martinez surrendered two runs in the top of the sixth, and then Jordan Aboites surrendered the lead in the ninth. Yet again, much like Friday’s game, ASU regained the lead for good.
Stat of the night: It was mentioned earlier, but the career high 11 strikeouts from Martinez provided a huge lift for ASU, especially because their defense has been spotty all season long. The errorless game from the Sun Devils was due in large part because Martinez fooled the Aggies hitters all night long. Even more impressive was that he did all of it on just 98 pitches.
What’s Next: ASU will look to sweep their third straight home series tomorrow at 12:30.