March 9, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. - Thanks to the bat of Eric Sogard, the Arizona State Sun Devils were able to put an end to their two-game losing streak, knocking off #19 Long Beach State 7-6. Sogard blasted two home runs, including a two-run shot in the eighth that proved to be the difference maker in the victory. 3,526 fans at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark saw ASU up their record to 13-5.
Sogard, a preseason All-American, started the scoring in the bottom of the first, sending a solo shot off Eddie Bane's retired number in right center to give the Devils an early 1-0 lead.
That lead held up until the top of the fourth, when the Dirtbags scored four times off starter Josh Satow. Only one of the runs was earned, but Long Beach State still led 4-1. The Sun Devils didn't wait long to respond, scoring four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Romine knocked in two with a single up the middle, then Brett Wallace brought him home with a double to left center. Sogard put Arizona State up 5-4 with a single through the left side that scored Wallace.
Satow ran into some trouble in the fifth before being removed in favor of Mike Leake, who worked out of the jam unscathed. Satow went 4.1 innings, allowing only one earned run on five hits with three strike outs.
The Dirtbags would get to Leake in the seventh, scoring twice off him to put Long Beach State up 6-5.
In the bottom of the eighth, Romine doubled with one out, then advanced to third on a fly out by Brett Wallace. With two gone, that brought Eric Sogard to the plate. Sogard took the 2-0 offering from Andrew Liebel onto Rural Road, giving Arizona State a 7-6 lead.
The Dirtbags would put two on with two out in the ninth. It looked as if the game was over when LBSU's Brandon Godfrey popped the ball up between the pitchers mound and first base, but some miscommunication allowed the ball to drop. ASU was able to capitalize when Shane Peterson, who was running on the play, got caught between second and third. Wallace threw to Joe Persichina, who calmly tagged out Peterson for the final out of the game.
Mike Leake went 4.2 innings, striking out four and improving to 4-1 on the year. Eric Sogard was 4-4 with four runs batted in, hitting two home runs in one game for the second time in his career. He also knocked two out last season against USC. Andrew Romine was 3-5 with two RBI, and Brett Wallace was 2-5 with a run batted in.
The Devils and Dirtbags will do it again tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Brian Flores is expected to get the start on the hill for Arizona State.