Feb. 2, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devil baseball team had not won a season opener since 2004, but highly touted Junior College transfer Brian Flores made sure that streak would end, as he pitched five strong innings, leading ASU to a 20-1 victory over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in front of 3,459 fans at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.
Flores, who was the NJCAA Male Athlete of the Year in 2006, struck out five and allowed only two hits and an unearned run en route to picking up his first career Division I victory.
The Devil offense picked up right where they left off after the Alumni Game, jumping to a 5-0 lead after one and never looking back. ASU scored five in the first, two in the third, nine in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the seventh. Brett Wallace went 3-4 with two RBI, one of five Sun Devils to record multi-hits. Ike Davis, Eric Sogard, Tim Smith and Petey Paramore each had two hits. Seven Devils had multiple RBI, led by Matt Spencer who knocked in four runs, thanks in part to his third inning two-run home run. Joe Persichina, Wallace, Davis, Jarred Bogany, CJ Retherford and Smith all knocked in two runs apiece. Smith, a transfer from Midland College, hit his first homer as a Sun Devil, a solo shot in the seventh.
18 different Sun Devil position players saw action, while three hurlers played as well. Jason Mitchell took over for Flores in the sixth, pitching two innings of shut out relied. He was relieved by Adam Bailey, who pitched the final two innings. Bailey struck out five of the six batters he faced and did not allow a man to reach base.
The Devils and Thunderbirds will meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m., when Josh Satow is scheduled to start on the hill for ASU.