BERKELEY, Calif. -- Right fielder Trever Allen drove a two-run homer over the left-field wall to break a ninth-inning tie and push No. 10 Arizona State to a series-opening 5-3 win against California on Friday night at Evans Diamond.
First baseman Joey Bielek hit a single to shallow right field on a 0-2 count with one out in the ninth inning and Allen delivered a two-run homer on the next pitch to give the Sun Devils (29-13, 14-5) a late two-run lead.
Right-hander Ryan Burr (13) closed out the bottom of the inning to pick up his 13th save of the season and the 37th of his career. He walked two batters with one out, but recorded a swinging strikeout and a groundout to shortstop Colby Woodmansee to end the game. Right-hander Darin Gillies (2-2) issued an inning-ending strikeout in the seventh and tossed a scoreless eighth to earn the win.
Arizona State was out-hit, 15-7, by the Golden Bears (27-15, 13-9), but stranded 13 runners on base and used a number of key defensive plays to record its 14th conference win of the season and move within a game of first-place UCLA.
Center fielder Johnny Sewald and left fielder Jake Peevyhouse registered back-to-back run-scoring doubles in the top of the fifth inning to break up a 0-0 tie and stake ASU a 3-0 advantage. Allen beat out a short chopper to first base and advanced to third on a passed ball on a swinging strikeout by designated hitter RJ Ybarra and a wild pitch in the next at-bat. Second baseman Andrew Snow was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, and Sewald plated Allen with a RBI double down the right-field line and Peevyhouse followed with a two-run double to clear the bases.
A fielding mistake by the Sun Devils with one out in the bottom of the fifth led to a two-run homer by Cal to cut ASU’s lead to one, 3-2, before a great defensive play by the Devils with two outs saved a run and ended the inning. Bielek misplayed a grounder and Cal first baseman Chris Paul capitalized with a two-run homer in the next at-bat. The Bears added a pair of singles and sent their lead runner home on the third consecutive base hit, but Peevyhouse connected with catcher Brian Serven, who tagged left fielder Mitchell Kranson out at the plate.
Cal tied the game at three runs apiece with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Bears hit a pair of singles between a pop-up and a fly ball, and right fielder Devin Pearson, the first batter Gillies faced, knocked a single just past Snow.
Two defensive plays by the Devils, including one in the fourth and one in the eighth, kept two Cal runs off the board. The Bears used three one-out singles to load the bases in the fourth, but starting right-hander Seth Martinez induced a groundout to third baseman David Greer, who stepped on the bag and threw to first to complete the double play. Sewald saved a potential leadoff home run at the fence in right-center field in the bottom of the eighth inning to keep the game tied 3-3.
Martinez limited 10 hits to just two runs and struck out a pair in 4.2 innings. He worked out of two early jams as he stranded six runners on base through the first four innings, including four in scoring position. Right-hander Eder Erives replaced Martinez with two outs in the bottom of the fifth and allowed one run on four hits in two innings.
Cal starting right-hander Daulton Jefferies retired the seven batters he faced and struck out eight in six innings. He conceded three runs on four hits in a no-decision. Right-hander Dylan Nelson (1-1) gave up the two-run homer in the ninth to take the loss.