March 23, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - Arizona State routed the Cal State Fullerton Titans 10-1 on Wednesday afternoon to earn a split of their two-game midweek series. Alex Blackford (2-0) was magnificent for six innings, allowing only three hits and a run, to earn the win and help ASU improve to 16-5 on the year.
While Blackford was keeping the Titan hitters off-balance, the Sun Devil offense was scoring early and often against Fullerton starter Colin O'Connell. Johnny Ruettiger led off the game by getting hit by a pitch, then stole second. After a bloop single by Riccio Torrez, Ruettiger came home on a double by Joey DeMichele. Torrez would score on a Zach Wilson ground out that made it 2-0 ASU.
The Sun Devils would add another run in the second on an RBI single by Ruettiger, but the Titans would get one back in the bottom half of the inning on a solo homer by Michael Lorenzen that made it 3-1. ASU would get that run back and more thanks to Zach Wilson's third home run of the season, a three-run shot to left that gave the Devils a 6-1 lead.
The lead would increase to 8-1 in the fourth. Riccio Torrez's triple to center scored Ruettiger then Torrez would score when Joey DeMichele hit a ball off the glove of Fullerton's first baseman Nick Ramirez. The ball rolled into the right field corner and was ruled an error, but the run would score nonetheless.
While the offense was rolling, Blackford, Joseph Lopez, Trevor Williams and Mitchell Lambson kept the Titans off the scoreboard. Blackford threw the first six, fanning five, before giving way to Lopez. Lopez, Williams and Lambson would each throw an inning of scoreless ball to secure the win.
Riccio Torrez was 3-5 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Johnny Ruettiger, Joey DeMichele, Matt Newman, Deven Marrero and Andrew Aplin all had two hits. Zach Wilson drove in four runs in the victory.
The Sun Devils return home on Friday night to open Pac-10 play with the Arizona Wildcats. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.