Around the Bases
and leaks lead to big win for No. 1 Arizona State
Kipnis goes deep twice, drives in five
By Phil Stanton
TEMPE, Ariz. – Coaches constantly preach it: You
can’t give a good team extra outs and extra base-runners.
right-hander Mike Leake (pictured right) of Arizona State abided
by that principle. He only allowed one baserunner in his first
six innings, a leadoff single to Jason Christian in the fourth,
and he picked him off first.
Michigan (3-1) was not as fortunate. The
Wolverine pitchers walked 11 and hit four more, while the UM
defense committed a pair of errors as the Sun Devils (4-0)
rolled 15-4 Thursday evening in the first day of the Coca-Cola
Classic at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.
Of the 16 Sun Devils who reached base without
benefit of a hit, a dozen scored. A pair of errors helped the
Sun Devils get on the board in the second. Five walks in the
third gave ASU a huge lead it would not relinquish.
There were also big hits. Sophomore outfielder
Jason Kipnis went deep twice, a solo shot to right in the fourth
and a monstrous grand slam to centerfield in the fifth that gave
the home team a 13-0 cushion. He now has four knocks in four
"They were having trouble finding the zone,"
Kipnis said. "You’ll hear Murph (head coach Pat Murphy) in the
dugout preaching patience, make them come to you. Don’t help
them out especially when they are struggling out there. It’s not
really take the first strike, but square up your zone, make it a
little smaller. Be more patient in your at bats.
"You ask players, they become comfortable,"
explained Kipnis. "They’re not trying to defend themselves at
the plate. They’re not just trying to just hit the ball, they’re
trying to attack the ball. You become more aggressive You’re
full of confidence at the plate."
Junior shortstop Marcel Champagnie three hits,
including a double in the second and a two-run single in the
third. Freshman Matt Newman had a pinch-hit two-run single in
the third. And junior third baseman Brett Wallace finally got in
on the fun with a two-run double in the sixth that gave the Sun
Devils a 15-0 advantage.
The Wolverines got on the board in the top of the
seventh, using five consecutive singles and two fielder’s
choices to plate four runs.
Leake (2-0) finished with 7.2 innings, six hits,
one walk and seven strikeouts. When asked how he felt, Leake
said "Good. I got a little tired that last inning."
He also started as DH and got a hit, a walk and
got hit by a pitch.
"Nice to get a hit while I got my opening
at-bats," Leake said. "Nice to contribute both sides."
Three of ASU's four victories this season are
against ranked teams (Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Michigan).
"It’s great results, but we didn’t play great,"
Murphy said. "We’re not swinging it great. Kipnis is on it a
little bit. Marcel’s been great. But Mike Leake was the story
tonight, in total control for six."
State wore its black jersey tops in memory of the students
killed at Northern Illinois. The Sun Devils also wore
commemorative wrist bands. Since its opening weekend was
canceled, Northern Illinois was brought out to Arizona to make
up two games it lost. The Huskies fell to Portland 9-6 in 16
innings in Surprise on Thursday afternoon, the longest game on
record for Northern Illinois. NIU faced Hawaii on Thursday
If any Arizona State players make it to the big
leagues with the New York Mets, the jets flying in and out of
LaGuardia won’t bother them. There were a steady stream of jets
flying low over the stadium, heading to Phoenix Airport.