Feb. 9, 2007
HOUSTON, Texas - On a chilly night at Minute Maid Park, the Arizona State Sun Devil bats started the evening hot, but it was the right arm of a freshman that proved to be the most important part of the ASU arsenal. RHP Mike Leake threw five innings of shut out ball, while Matt Spencer and Brett Wallace provided the offensive fireworks in a 5-4 ASU victory over Texas A&M at the Houston College Classic. Arizona State improves to 4-0 on the year with the win.
Starter Brian Flores struggled mightily in the first inning, throwing 29 pitches while allowing two runs on two hits. A potential third run was cut down at the plate when Ike Davis made a perfect throw home to nail the runner and get the Devils out of the first inning down only 2-0.
ASU answered right back in the bottom half of the first, scoring four times off Aggies starter Jason Meyer. Brett Wallace led things off with a triple to the gap in right center, then was brought home by Eric Sogard on a single to center. Matt Spencer would put the Sun Devils on top with a 405 foot bomb to the second deck in right field, scoring Kiel Roling and Petey Paramore and making it 4-2 ASU.
After adding a run in the second, Texas A&M evened things up in the fifth. A two-base error chased Flores, bringing in Mike Leake from the bullpen. The Aggies tied it when Blake Stouffer scored as Brandon Hicks was thrown out trying to steal second. That made it 4-4 after five.
Arizona State grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the seventh when Brett Wallace stole home to put ASU up 5-4. With Tim Smith on first and Wallace on third, Smith broke for second on the pitch. When the catcher threw the ball down to second, Wallace broke for home. The second baseman's throw home was in the dirt and the ball rolled away from the catcher, allowing Wallace to tag the plate safely and give ASU the 5-4 lead.
From then on, Leake was locked in, picking up his first collegiate victory. He went five innings, striking out five and allowing only one hit while not allowing a run. Brett Wallace went 3-5, falling a homer short of the cycle. Spencer's three-run shot was one of his two hits on the night, and helped bring his season RBI total to 16.
The Sun Devils will take on the Vanderbilt Commodores, who beat #1 Rice earlier Friday, on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Arizona time.