June 14, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. - A four-run 10th inning lifted the Arizona State University baseball team to a 5-2 win over North Carolina in the opening round of the 2009 College World Series on Sunday. A crowd of 24,273 fans at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium saw the Sun Devils improve to 50-12 on the season. They will now face either Texas or Southern Mississippi in a winner's bracket game on Tuesday.
With the game tied at 1 after nine innings, the Sun Devil offense got rolling in the top half of the 10th. After Zack MacPhee popped out to lead off the inning, Drew Maggi singled and Jason Kipnis reached on dropped fly ball by North Carolina right fielder Garrett Gore. Carlos Ramirez then drove in the go-ahead run with a single up the middle, and Kole Calhoun provided the knockout punch with a three-run homer to left center.
Mitchell Lambson earned the win, going three innings out of the bullpen and allowing three hits and one run while striking out five. He improved to 9-3 on the season.
Josh Spence started, and he allowed eight hits and one run with eight strikeouts over seven innings, but he left with the game tied and took a no decision. North Carolina starter Alex White struck out 12 and allowed just one run in nine innings, but he also ended up with a no decision.
The Sun Devils scored first with a two-out rally in the second. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Johnny Ruettiger doubled and Raoul Torrez walked before Zack MacPhee doubled in Ruettiger to put ASU on top.
North Carolina threatened in the fourth, loading the bases with two outs, but Spence struck out left fielder Ben Bunting to escape the jam.
The Tar Heels broke through in the sixth, as Gore singled in a run to tie the game. However, Spence kept the Heels from taking the lead by getting center fielder Mike Cavasinni to ground into an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the ninth, Lambson got out of a one-on, one-out situation by striking out Bunting and then Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy finalist Dustin Ackley to end the inning.
After the Sun Devils scored their runs in the top of the tenth, North Carolina did score a run in the bottom half of the inning, but Lambson struck out Mark Fleury and Gore to end the game and secure the victory.
The Sun Devils will now face the winner of Sunday night's game between Texas and Southern Mississippi at 4 p.m. Arizona time on Tuesday at Rosenblatt Stadium.
NOTES: Prior to the game, the NCAA and the College World Series honored the 40th anniversary of Arizona State's 1969 national championship. Head coach Bobby Winkles, 1969 Most Outstanding Player John Dolinsek and several other members of the team were in attendance.