May 6, 2011
Tempe, Ariz. -
The No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the Long Beach State Dirtbags 6-3 on Friday night in Tempe behind a solid outing from starter Brady Rodgers and another strong night behind the plate for designated hitter Joey DeMichele. The Sun Devils improved to 33-11 on the season with the win.
Rodgers (7-2) earned the win, giving up just three runs and three hits in 7.1 innings of work. Mitchell Lambson came on in relief in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
The Sun Devils jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Johnny Ruettiger led off the game with a double and scored one batter later on a throwing error. After the Dirtbags tied it up in the top half of the fourth, ASU answered back by manufacturing a run with a walk, stolen base and a Zach Wilson sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Devils padded the lead with two more when. DeMichele hit his first triple of the night off the right field wall, driving in Zach MacPhee and on the very next at-bat,
DeMichele provided the Devils with two more insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Michael Benjamin and Riccio Torrez with a two-run triple, his second three-bagger of the night. DeMichele finished 2-of-4 from the plate with 3 RBI. The Dirtbags threatened in the eighth, scoring two with the tying run at the plate, but Johnny Ruettiger made a diving catch in left field to end the inning and protect the lead.
The Sun Devils and Dirtbags will play game two of the non-conference series tomorrow night at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.