May 25, 1998
WICHITA, Kan. - Arizona State junior left-hander Ryan Mills came up with the game of his life and it could not have come at a better time for the Sun Devils. Mills' complete-game, three-hitter lifted ASU to a 3-1 win over Georgia Tech in the Midwest Regional championship game and sends the Sun Devils to their 18th College World Series, the first under head coach Pat Murphy.
Mills (7-3), pitching on three days rest, allowed only a solo home run to Eric McQueen, his 15th of the year, in the fourth inning. The complete game is the first for Mills this season and the third of his career. He tossed 149 pitches, striking out nine while walking four.
"I didn't think it mattered who was at the plate today," said ASU catcher Greg Halvorson. "That was the most outstanding performance I've ever seen from a college pitcher."
ASU led the entire way, scoring in the first inning on a Jeff Phelps RBI single to bring home Willie Bloomquist for a 1-0 lead. ASU extended that lead to 2-0 in the third inning on a Rudy Arguelles RBI single, again scoring Bloomquist. After McQueen's home run cut the lead to 2-1, Mikel Moreno, the regional MVP, gave Mills a two-run cushion again in the fifth inning with his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot.
Bloomquist picked up half of ASU's hits against loser Cory Vance (6-4). He was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Joining Moreno on the All-Regional squad for ASU was 1B Jeff Phelps, OF Rudy Arguelles, P Ryan Mills and P Chad Pennington.
It is only the second time in ASU's 18 CWS appearances that the Sun Devils advanced from a regional site on the road. Murphy returned ASU to the World Series in just his fourth year at the helm of the program. ASU's last CWS appearance came in 1994.
The College World Series begins this Friday. Pairings will be announced later today.
LINESCORE Arizona State 101 010 000 -- 3 6 2 Georgia Tech 000 100 000 -- 1 3 1 WP - Ryan Mills (7-3). LP - Vance (6-4).