Arizona State right-hander Jordan Aboites, determined to pitch a complete game, did just that Saturday afternoon to keep his team’s season alive with a 4-1 victory over Oral Roberts in the Fort Worth Regional at Lupton Stadium.
Aboites (7-2) threw 117 pitches and gave up 11 hits, but only one — a ninth-inning double — for extra bases. He struck out seven and walked one.
Catcher Brian Serven hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning as the Sun Devils (35-22) of the Pac-12 advanced to face Gonzaga at 2 p.m. Sunday in another elimination game.
Oral Roberts (38-21) of the Summit League was held scoreless in 17 of 18 innings at the regional. Catcher Matt Whatley and left fielder Michael Hungate had three hits apiece for the Golden Eagles. Designated hitter Noah Cummings had an RBI single in the sixth.
I just knew I’m going nine; I need to, this is what we need. Anything else was really unacceptable in my mind.
Arizona State pitcher Jordan Aboites
“I understood what I needed to do,” said Aboites, a 5-foot-6, 145-pound senior from Long Beach, Calif. “I wasn’t even thinking about winning the game — I just knew I’m going nine; I need to, this is what we need. Anything else was really unacceptable in my mind.”
Serven, moved from fifth to third in the lineup, drove in a run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, giving Arizona State its first lead at the regional. He doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Andrew Snow’s two-out single for a 2-0 lead.
Serven’s home run in the fifth cleared the fence in left and made it 4-0. It was his fourth of the season.
Arizona State is 4-0 against Oral Roberts in postseason play — including a College World Series victory in 1978 —and 10-3 all-time.
“Defensively and offensively, I couldn’t do it without him,” Aboites said of Serven. “We kind of have the same brain when we’re working on the field. Obviously, for him to give me a couple more runs today was awesome. He’s been doing it all year.”
Oral Roberts coach Ryan Folmar said his team competed well enough to win but was unable to put it together offensively.
“Disappointed, but at the same time proud of how our guys competed,” he said. “We lost our entire rotation, our closer, 2-3-4-5 in our lineup and returned to regionals and had a pretty good year, a pretty solid year. We want to return to this setting.”
Aboites and Serven. Wood, Cammack (6), Womacks (9) and Whatley. W—Aboites (7-2). L—Wood (6-3). 2B—ASU: Serven, Shaps. ORU: Rotola. HR—ASU: Serven. E—ASU: Greer. ORU: Whatley.
RECORDS —Arizona State 35-22; Oral Roberts 38-21.