Freshman left-hander Ryan Kellogg improved to 9-0 and freshman designated hitter RJ Ybarra hit the school's first grand slam in three years as the ninth-ranked Arizona State University baseball team defeated Valparaiso, 15-3, on Saturday night at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Ybarra set a career high with five RBI, infielder Dalton DiNatale went a career high 4-for-4 with three RBI and third baseman Michael Benjamin hit a double and a triple to pace the Sun Devils (24-11-1), who scored double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time this season and set a season high with three triples.
Kellogg (9-0) scattered six hits and two earned runs across six innings, and struck out four to record his ninth win of the season and remain undefeated. He tossed three consecutive perfect innings to begin the game before conceding one run in each of the next three.
Ybarra's first career home run cleared the bases in the third inning and was ASU's first grand slam since Kole Calhounhit the last one on March 19, 2010, against Houston.
Left fielder Jake Peevyhouse knocked a two-out single through the right side in the bottom of the first inning to put the Devils on the board first, 1-0.
Consecutive RBI triples to right-center field by Benjamin and second baseman James McDonald highlighted a four-run second inning for ASU as they took a 5-0 lead. The frame was bookended by DiNatale scoring on center fielder Kasey Coffman's groundout into a double play and Ybarra's RBI single.
The Devils hit for the cycle and brought 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third inning to score eight runs and leap out to a 13-0 lead. ASU knocked in a pair of singles and three doubles, Peevyhouse tripled and Ybarra homered as they chased Crusaders starting right-hander Chris Deboo with one out in the frame.
The Crusaders (14-23) scored on a double play groundout in the fourth, and an RBI single in both the fifth and sixth innings for their only three runs of the game.
A bevy of pinch hitters stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and a walk by Tucker Esmay, a single by Tony DiMartino and a walk by Cullen O'Dwyer loaded the bases for DiNatale, who laced a two-run single through the right side to extend ASU's advantage, 15-3.
Deboo (2-6) gave up 12 runs, including eight earned, on 11 hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.
The Sun Devils close out their three-game non-conference series against Valparaiso at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Packard Stadium. The game will be streamed live and for free over the internet at www.pac-12.com/live/thesundevils. It will also be broadcast live through the All-Access player on thesundevils.com by the MidFirst Bank Sun Devil IMG Sports Network and through the Blaze Radio online at www.ustream.tv/channel/blaze-sport. Fans can also follow the team on Twitter at @ASU_Baseball for live scoring and updates from the weekend, and check thesundevils.com for stats, notes and more.
Coach Esmay moved to 69-15-1 against non-conference opponents...10 different Sun Devils reached base safely...ASU collected seven extra-base hits in the game and tallied 27 total bases.
Sunday's Pitching Matchup
ASU: RHP Alex Blackford (4-0, 2.36)
VALPO: LHP Dalton Lundeen (1-0, 2.70)
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