May 31, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - A four-run sixth inning was the difference as the Arizona State University baseball team clinched a trip to their third straight Super Regionals with an 8-3 victory over Oral Roberts on Sunday to win the Tempe Regional. The Sun Devils improved to 47-12 overall with the win in front of a crowd of 3,467 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. They will host either Clemson or Oklahoma State next weekend in a Super Regional. Days and times will be announced next week.
After falling behind 3-0 to Oral Roberts in the first and getting just one hit through the first five innings, the Sun Devils rallied in bottom of the sixth. Carlos Ramirez began the inning with a walk, Kole Calhoun followed with a single and Matt Newman walked to load the bases with no outs. Johnny Ruettiger then drew a walk to bring in a run, and two batters later, Calhoun would score from third on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Zack MacPhee then provided the big blow, with a two-out, two-run single over the head of Oral Roberts third baseman Colby Price to put ASU in front.
The Sun Devils would add three more runs in the eighth. Riccio Torrez drove in one with a single, and Jared McDonald followed him with a two-run inside the park home run down the right field line. It was the first inside the park home run by ASU this season.
Seth Blair got the win on the mound to improve to 7-2, allowing four hits and three unearned runs with seven strikeouts over six innings. After giving up the three unearned runs in the first, Blair bounced back and allowed just one hit and no runs over the next five innings.
Mitchell Lambson then threw three innings of perfect relief, striking out four, to earn his fourth save of the season and secure the win for the Sun Devils.
It is the third straight season and fourth time in the last five years that ASU has advanced to the Super Regional round.
Mike Leake was named Tempe Regional Most Outstanding Player after his complete game victory on Saturday, and he was joined on the Regional All-Tournament Team by Calhoun, MacPhee, Ruettiger and Jason Kipnis. Leake was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tempe Regional in 2007.
The Sun Devils will host the winner of Monday's game between Clemson and Oklahoma State in the Clemson Regional in a best-of-three Super Regional beginning either Friday or Saturday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.