March 5, 2011
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Thanks to some great at bats by Riccio Torrez and the left arm of Mitchell Lambson, Arizona State took down the Kansas Jayhawks 4-3 on Saturday night at Surprise Stadium. Torrez drove in three of the four Sun Devil runs, while Mitch Lambson was nearly unhittable for ASU, who improved to 8-2 on the year.
Arizona State got on the scoreboard first, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Riccio Torrez got things started with an infield single that bounced just past Kansas pitcher T.J. Walz's glove, allowing Andrew Aplin to score from third. Zach Wilson would follow with a fielder's choice that plated another run.
The Jayhawks would grab the lead in the very next inning off ASU starter Kramer Champlin. After the first two men reached in the fourth, catcher Alex DeLeon homered into the bullpen in left to put KU up 3-2. The Devils would even things at three in the fifth, when Torrez lofted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Johnny Ruettiger.
The score would not change until the bottom of the seventh, when the Sun Devils would take the lead for good. After Ruettiger led off by lining out to center, Zack MacPhee followed with a walk. Kansas pitcher Nolan Mansfield tried to pick off MacPhee at first, but his throw ended up down the first line, allowing MacPhee to advance to third. He would come home on another Torrez sacrifice fly to give ASU the lead at 4-3.
That would be all the cushion Mitchell Lambson, in relief of Champlin, would need. He retired nine out of the 10 batters he faced, including six straight strike outs to end the game. He picked up the win to even his record at 1-1. Champlin went six plus innings, allowing three runs on six hits and three strike outs.
Arizona State will close out the Coca-Cola College Classic tomorrow when they take on the UC Riverside Highlanders. The game will begin 45 minutes following the MLB Spring Training game, which begins at 1:05 p.m. from Surprise Stadium.