Friday night featured two projected first-round pitchers. Mark Appel (8-3) was on the mound for Stanford and Trevor Williams (5-3) was on the mound for the Sun Devils.
Between the two aces, there were seven strikeouts in the first two innings. The Cardinal struck first in the top of the third inning. They took a quick 3-0 lead after Williams gave up two walks and a single before following up with two more RBI singles. Stanford increased their lead to five in the top of the fourth on two RBI singles. The Sun Devils battled back in the bottom of the inning when right fielder Trever Allen hit a stand-up double; scoring James McDonald and R.J. Ybarra. The Cardinal lead was cut to three. Center fielder Kasey Coffman hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh; scoring first baseman Dalton DiNatale, who had reached on a throwing error. The bullpen was key in preventing Stanford from creating any further damage.
Senior Matt Dunbar struck out two and gave up three hits in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Sophomore Darin Gillies struck out three and only allowed one base runner in the final 1 1/3 innings. The Sun Devils had dropped the first game of the series to Stanford 5-3. Appel impressed the plethora of scouts in the crowd of 3,305 by striking out thirteen over 7 innings. The Sun Devil pitching staff tied a season-high with twelve combined strikeouts.
The two teams were back at it Saturday night. Daniel Starwalt was on the mound for the Cardinal and Ryan Kellogg (10-0) was on the mound for the Sun Devils.
Stanford came out swinging in the first. They took an early 2-0 lead after a single and a homerun. Michael Benjamin started things for ASU in the bottom half of the inning with a homerun of his own. Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz then hit a RBI single in the bottom of the second inning to score Dalton DiNatale, who had reached on a single. The game was tied at two after two. Stanford was able to add on two more runs in the top of the fourth. ASU came back and scored three of their own. Trever Allen hit a solo homerun and Starwalt walked the bases loaded before Benjamin hit a double; scoring two. The Sun Devils were up 5-4 and had taken their first lead of the series.
ASU notched two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Left fielder Jake Peevyhouse led off the inning with a triple and center fielder Kasey Coffman grounded out to score Peevyhouse. Starwalt walked the bases loaded again and the Sun Devils scored a run on a wild pitch. ASU was up 7-4 after six. The Cardinal tied up the game in the top of the seventh with a three-run homerun. The game was forced into extra innings. Designated hitter RJ Ybarra doubled in the bottom of the eleventh and scored on a single by Allen. The Sun Devils were down by one run. The bases were loaded for leadoff man Coffman, and he was called out on an extremely close play at first. The Sun Devils had fallen to Stanford 9-8 in eleven. Ryan Burr (2-2) took the loss after giving up two Cardinal runs in the eleventh. Kellogg did not factor in the decision for only the second time in his college career.
The Sun Devils were looking to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon. John Hochstatter (3-2) was on the mound for Stanford and Zak Miller (4-0) was on the mound for ASU. Miller was coming off his start against the Wildcats Tuesday night.
After a scoreless first inning, the Cardinal scored two runs in the top of the second. Right fielder Trever Allen led off the bottom of the second with a single. First baseman Dalton DiNatale followed up with a double and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse hit a RBI single to right. Center fielder Kasey Coffman hit a sacrifice fly; scoring DiNatale. Second baseman James McDonald singled in Peevyhouse, giving the Sun Devils a 3-2. Catcher Max Rossiter was up next and he did not disappoint. He hit the first homerun of his senior season; scoring three runs.
Designated hitter RJ Ybarra and Allen then followed up with solo homeruns of their own. ASU was up 8-2 after two. The Sun Devils then added a run in the third after a sacrifice fly by third baseman Michael Benjamin. They also added a run in the fourth after a RBI single by Coffman. Their lead was increased to eight. Stanford was able to add a run of their own in the fifth on a RBI single. They added another RBI single in the sixth.
The big Cardinal hit of the day came off Billy Young and was a three-run homerun in the seventh. Senior Alex Blackford came in to stop the bleeding in the seventh and walked two with one out before striking out the following two batters. The Sun Devils added a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh on a fielder’s choice by Allen. ASU led Stanford 11-7 after seven. After a scoreless eighth, Stanford managed a run off Matt Dunbar in the top of the ninth. He was pulled from the game and left runners on the corners before Darin Gillies forced a double-play and struck out the final batter of the game. Gillies’ perfect inning led to his first career save. Miller went five innings, allowing three runs on seven hits to earn his fourth win of the season.
What’s next? The Sun Devils head to Berkeley, California May 10-12 for a three-game Pac-12 road series against Cal.