May 30, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Another complete game gem from Mike Leake led the No. 3 Arizona State University baseball team to a 4-1 victory over Oral Roberts in the Tempe Regional on Saturday. A crowd of 4,201 fans at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark saw the Sun Devils improve to 46-12 overall and move to 2-0 in the Regional.
Leake was masterful once again on Saturday, capping off a week in which he was named the Academic All-American of the Year and won Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. He allowed five hits and one run while matching his career high with 15 strikeouts to improve to 15-1 on the season. He took a no-hitter into the sixth and was just one out away from his third consecutive complete game shutout before the Golden Eagles, who were the designated home team in the game, scored a run in the bottom of the ninth. It was Leake's seventh complete game of the season.
With the victory, Leake now has 39 career wins as a Sun Devil, moving him past College Baseball Hall of Famer Floyd Bannister for fourth most in school history.
Leake outdueled Oral Roberts ace and Summit League Pitcher of the Year Mark Serrano, who went 8.1 innings and gave up eight hits and four runs (three earned) with 13 strikeouts, but still took his first loss of the season.
Jason Kipnis went 3-for-4 and had two doubles, ASU's only extra-base hits of the night, to lead the Sun Devils at the plate. Johnny Ruettiger had an RBI single and two walks, meaning he has reached base in eight of his nine plate appearances so far in the Regional
The Sun Devils got on the board in the second inning, as Ruettiger had a two-out single to drive in Kole Calhoun for the first run of the game. Carlos Ramirez added another run with an RBI single in the third, but Serrano avoided further damage in that inning when he got a strikeout and a groundout to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam.
In the sixth, Jared McDonald was inserted as a pinch hitter and wasted no time in making an impact, ripping the first pitch he saw into center field to drive in Riccio Torrez. The Sun Devils added another run in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Kipnis.
Oral Roberts threatened in the bottom of the ninth, as first baseman Michael Notaro blooped an RBI single to left to make it 4-1 and right fielder P.J. Sequeira doubled to bring the tying run to the plate, but Leake struck out designated hitter Johnny Roberts on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.
The Sun Devils will play again tomorrow at 6 p.m., when they will face the winner of the 1 p.m. elimination game between Oral Roberts and Kent State. The Golden Flashes eliminated Cal Poly with a 10-9 victory in earlier action on Saturday.