Feb. 27, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - The #4 Sun Devil baseball team rode strong pitching and some timely hitting to beat the Northern Illinois Huskies 6-1 on day two of the DeMarini Invitational. With the win, ASU improves to 7-0. 2,819 fans saw three ASU pitchers hold the Huskies to only one unearned run on eight hits.
Jason Franzblau picked up his first win in a Sun Devil uniform, throwing four innings of two-hit ball out of the bullpen. He was touched for an unearned run in the eighth, but that was all the NIU could muster off of three ASU pitchers. Matt Newman got the start, going 4.1 innings, and Mitchell Lambson recorded the final two outs of the ballgame.
The Devils got on the board first in the third, taking a 4-0 lead. With runners on first and second, Raoul Torrez laid down a perfect bunt up the third base line. The throw by NIU third baseman Troy White was wild, allowing Johnny Ruettiger and Mike Murphy to score while Torrez ended up on third. He would come home on a Zack MacPhee single to right to make it 3-0. A Carlos MacPhee ground out would plate MacPhee, making it 4-0.
Matt Newman aided his own cause in the fifth, homering to right center field to make it 5-0. The Devils would add another run when Johnny Ruettiger came home on a double steal attempt. Raoul Torrez drew the throw from the catcher to second base, allowing Ruettiger to score before Torrez was tagged out.
Newman cruised on the mound until the fifth, when he put two Huskies on with only one out. Franzblau came on and worked out of the jam without allowing a run. Newman went 4.1 innings, allowing no runs on six hits and striking out four.
Newman also went 2-4 at the plate, including his second round-tripper of the year.
In the first game of the day, Oregon State beat Missouri 12-8. The DeMarini Invitational continues tomorrow afternoon, when Missouri plays NIU at 1 p.m., followed by the Sun Devils and the Oregon State Beavers at 6:30 p.m. from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.