June 10, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - Fantastic pitching from Brady Rodgers and Mitchell Lambson led Arizona State to a 3-1 win over Texas in Game One of the Austin Super Regional at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Friday. The Sun Devils are now 43-16 overall, and they take a 1-0 in lead the best-of-three series with the Longhorns.
Rodgers may have been the less heralded of the two starting pitchers in Game One, with the Longhorns sending 12th overall pick Taylor Jungmann to the mound, but he was more than up to the task. The native Texan went 6.2 innings, scattering eight hits and allowing just one run with four strikeouts and no walks, earning the win to improve to 9-4 on the season.
Lambson came on for Rodgers in the seventh, and he was nothing short of spectacular. He sent down all seven batters he faced and never even went to a three-ball count, earning his ninth save of the season in the process.
The Sun Devil bats did just enough against the stellar Texas pitching staff, with Joey DeMichele leading the way with two hits and two RBI in the win. Jungmann was strong, allowing three runs (one earned) over 7.1 innings, but he took the loss to drop to 13-2 on the season.
ASU got on the board first with two unearned runs in the third. With one out, Andrew Aplin hit a sharp ground ball that resulted in an error by Longhorn first baseman Tant Shepherd. After Johnny Ruettiger walked, Deven Marrero came up and hit a ground ball back to Jungmann. It looked to be a potential inning-ending double play, but miscommunication by the Texas infielders led to the second error of the inning and Aplin came around to score. Two batters later, DeMichele hit a bloop double to left to score Ruettiger and make it 2-0.
Texas got one back in the bottom of the third and had runners on the corners with one out, but Rodgers got Paul Montalbano to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep ASU in front by a run.
Rodgers worked around a leadoff single in the fourth and then retired the Longhorns in order in the fifth and sixth innings. However, Texas would threaten again in the seventh. Back-to-back one-out singles put the tying run at third, but Rodgers got Shepherd to ground to third, and Riccio Torrez alertly threw home to cut down the runner at the plate. That would be the end of the night for Rodgers, as Lambson came on from the bullpen and retired Mark Payton on one pitch to end the inning.
The Sun Devils added an important insurance run in the eighth. Marrero worked an 11-pitch at-bat and drew a walk to lead off the inning, and he then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Torrez. That brought DeMichele to the plate against Texas reliever Hoby Milner, and DeMichele lined a 2-2 pitch into left to score Marrero.
That was more than enough for Lambson, who calmly retired the Longhorns in order in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the victory.
The Sun Devils and Longhorns continue their best-of-three Super Regional series on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Arizona time at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. The game will be televised on ESPN.