May 24, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - Carlos Ramirez went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs to lead the No. 2 Arizona State University baseball team to a 6-5 victory over UCLA in the regular season finale on Sunday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. A crowd of 2,854 saw the Sun Devils move to 44-12 overall and finish 21-6 in the Pac-10 with the win.
Ramirez hit his team-leading 18th home run of the season and added two RBI singles, including the eventual game-winning hit in the eighth, to lead the Sun Devils at the plate. The three RBI also gives him the team lead with 67 on the season.
Mitchell Lambson went five innings out of the bullpen to get the win, allowing six hits and two runs with five strikeouts to move to 8-3 on the season. Josh Spence started and allowed just two hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts and two walks over four innings in his first action since April 25.
Ramirez's solo home run in the first gave the Sun Devils an early lead, but UCLA answered with an unearned run in the second and then a two-run homer by first baseman Cody Decker in the third to take a 3-1 lead.
ASU rallied in the fifth, scoring three runs to re-take the lead. Ramirez started the scoring with an RBI single, and then Kole Calhoun and Riccio Torrez both had two-out hits to put the Devils back in front by a run.
UCLA tied the game with a run in the sixth, but the Sun Devils responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning. Austin Barnes drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and then advanced to third on a single by Raoul Torrez before Zack MacPhee drove him in with a single over the head of the third baseman.
The Devils would add an important insurance run in the eighth, as Jason Kipnis doubled with two outs and then scored on a single by Ramirez. UCLA center fielder Blair Dunlap led off the ninth with a solo homer and then pinch-hitter Dustin Quist reached on a bunt single, but he was left stranded at third when Lambson struck out catcher Gino Aielli to end the game.
The Sun Devils now move on to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season and 33rd time in program history. They will host the Tempe Regional beginning on Friday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The full 64-team field will be announced on Monday at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN.