April 25, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Despite building an early 5-1 lead, Josh Spence and the Sun Devils could not hold it, as Cal came from behind to beat Arizona State 10-6 at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears held ASU scoreless from the fifth until the ninth while scoring nine runs of their own, dropping ASU to 30-9, 14-3 in Pac-10 play.
Spence was uncharacteristically wild, as he walked four and hit another in his 3.1 innings of work. He allowed six runs on nine hits and struck out four, as he absorbed his first loss as a Sun Devil. Spence is now 8-1 on the year.
One of the top hitting teams in the Pac-10, the Bears pounded out 16 hits against seven Sun Devils pitchers. Arizona State had 13 hits of their own, but stranded 11 runners in the loss.
For the second straight game Arizona State got on the board in the top of the first inning. After back-to-back singles by Drew Maggi and Jason Kipnis to start the game, Kole Calhoun laid down a perfect squeeze bunt with one out and runners at the corners, allowing Maggi to score from third. That put runners on first and second for Matt Newman, who lined a single to center to score Kipnis and make it 2-0. Zack MacPhee made it 3-0 with a bases loaded ground out that scored Kole Calhoun.
The Golden Bears answered back in the second, pushing a run across with two outs against Spence. Brett Jackson singled to right to score Danny Oh and make it 3-1. Matt Newman got the run right back in the third, blasting a leadoff homer to right, his fourth of the year. The Sun Devils would manufacture another run in the fourth to increase their lead to 5-1. Raoul Torrez led off the inning with a double to left, then moved to third on a Maggi sac bunt. Kipnis brought him home with a sac fly to center.
Cal would use small ball to grab the lead in the fourth, stringing together six hits in a row and scoring five times. With one out, Cal had back-to-back bunt singles followed by a bloop single to left to load the bases. Mark Canha brought two home with a single to right center to cut the lead to 5-3. Jeff Kobernus doubled to left to score one and make it 5-4, then a Blake Smith RBI single to left tied the score and chased Josh Spence. Mitchell Lambson took over and quickly induced a fielder's choice that cut the lead runner off at the plate for the second out, but a Danny Oh soft liner to short took a strange hop over Drew Maggi's glove to bring in another run and make it 6-5 Cal.
The Golden Bears would add to their lead in the fifth, scoring off Lambson on a sac fly that made it 7-5. They added two more off Jason Franzblau and Kole Calhoun in the seventh to push the lead to 9-5, then scored one off of Jake Borup in the eighth to go ahead 10-6. Matt Newman would leave the yard for the second time in the game in the ninth, but it was too little too late as Arizona State fell 10-6.
The Devils and Bears will play the rubber game of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. from Evans Diamond.