(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils continued their turnaround of the 2016 season Tuesday night when they defeated the UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas by the final of 6-4.
Senior Jordan Aboites was given the start and didn’t disappoint, picking up his fourth win of the season. He lasted 5.2 innings while giving up eight hits and four runs, while walking only one and striking out six.
Aboites was given a boost before he even took the mound when first baseman David Greer took UNLV starter Cody Roper deep for a 1-0 lead. UNLV countered in their half of the first on a sacrifice fly from Payton Squier that scored Kyle Isbel to tie the score at 1.
The Sun Devil offense went right back to work for the next three innings, plating one run each in the second and third innings, then scoring three in the top of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead.
UNLV cut the lead to three in the bottom of the fifth, thanks to an Aboites wild pitch with Isbel on third base and a Squier RBI single. The lead was trimmed to two in the bottom of the sixth when Andrew Yazdanbakhsh scored on a wild pitch from Eli Lingos.
Lingos settled down after the wild pitch, and gave way to Eder Erives for the final two innings. Erives gave up one hit and struck out two en route to his sixth save of 2016.
Player of the Game: David Greer. The junior first baseman went 3-4 on the night with two doubles and three RBI. Greer continues to pace the team in batting average (.335) and is four behind shortstop Colby Woodmansee for the team lead in RBI (34).
Stat of the Night: The Sun Devils worked six walks against UNLV pitching, bringing their season total up to 159. The team is averaging over three walks per game and has a collective on-base percentage of .341. They understand how to get themselves on base by any means necessary and it has helped them tremendously as they attempt to complete their comeback story in the Pac-12.
What’s Up Next? ASU will get back to its Pac-12 schedule this weekend as they travel to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats. With an 11-10 Pac-12 record, ASU is just two games behind Pac-12-leading Washington, so to say that this weekend will be crucial for Tracy Smith’s squad is an understatement.