June 18, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. - Kole Calhoun had six RBI, including a grand slam in the fifth inning, to lead the Arizona State University baseball team to a 12-5 win over North Carolina in an elimination game of the College World Series on Thursday. A crowd of 25,001 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium saw the Sun Devils improve to 51-13 on the season with the win. They will face Texas on Friday.
The win was also the 1,000th career victory for head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy is the 12th active coach with 1,000 victories, 629 of which have come at Arizona State.
Calhoun was the leader at the plate again for the Sun Devils, continuing his terrific play in this College World Series with a game-tying grand slam in the fifth and a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh. He is 6-for-12 with three home runs and 10 RBI, and he has been on base nine times in 15 plate appearances in the three games of the CWS thus far.
Calhoun became the fourth Sun Devil to hit a grand slam at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium, joining Sal Bando (1965), Bob Horner (1978) and Michael Collins (1998).
Josh Spence got the win on the mound, making his second start of the CWS and allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned) with eight strikeouts over seven innings. He improved to 10-1 on the season. Jordan Swagerty pitched the final two innings to secure the victory.
North Carolina got on the board first, scoring an unearned run in the second inning and then adding three more in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
However, the Sun Devils rallied in the bottom of the fifth. Drew Maggi reached on a fielder's choice, Kipnis was hit by a pitch and Ramirez walked before Calhoun tied the game with his first career grand slam and third home run of the College World Series.
In the seventh, Kipnis led off the inning with a single and Ramirez walked to bring up Calhoun again, and he hit the first pitch he saw into right center to score two runs and give ASU its first lead. The Sun Devils would add six more in the inning, as Calhoun scored on a passed ball, MacPhee and Maggi each had two-run singles and Ramirez capped off the scoring with an RBI single.
North Carolina scored once in the ninth, but it was far from enough, as ASU eliminated the Tar Heels.
The Sun Devils will now face Texas at 6 p.m. CT on Friday. ASU will need to beat the Longhorns to stay alive in the 2009 College World Series.