March 27, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. - History was made on Saturday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, as the No. 1 Arizona State University baseball team defeated California 6-1 to set a new school record for the best start to a season. A second consecutive sellout crowd of 4,371 saw the Sun Devils improve to 22-0, 2-0 in the Pac-10, surpassing the 21-0 start by the 1961 squad.
Merrill Kelly had his second consecutive great start, going 6.1 innings and allowing just two hits and one run with five strikeouts to earn the win. He is now 6-0 in six starts this season.
Kelly and Cal starter Justin Jones had a pitcher's duel early, as the game remained scoreless through the first four innings.
However, the Sun Devils would break through against Jones in the bottom of the fifth. Matt Newman walked to lead off the inning and Zach Wilson followed with a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no outs. Johnny Ruettiger then drove in the game's first run with a groundout, Austin Barnes followed him with a walk and then Deven Marrero provided the big hit of the night with a three-run home run to left. It was Marrero's first career home run.
Cal's Danny Oh hit a solo home run in the sixth to put the Golden Bears on the scoreboard, but ASU answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Wilson.
The Bears threatened in the seventh with two on and one out, but Mitchell Lambson came on from the bullpen and got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning. Lambson also pitched a scoreless eighth, and Barnes had an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to cap off the scoring. Jordan Swagerty then pitched a scoreless ninth to finish off the victory.
Wilson, Ruettiger, Marrero and Riccio Torrez all had two hits each in the victory.
The Sun Devils wrap up their three-game series with Cal on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.