June 8, 2008

2008 Super Regionals

Sun Devils Stop Bulldogs

ASU one win away from Omaha


By Alex Espinoza

The State Press   www.asuwebdevil.com


Alex finished his third year at Arizona State and is pursuing his undergraduate degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. A Bay Area native, Alex came to ASU for the weather, sports and girls and hasn't been disappointed. He still keeps the A's, Raiders, Warriors and Cal sports (Shhh don't tell anybody) close to his heart and has also taken an interest in the other football (Go Arsenal and Spain) in recent years.

TEMPE, Ariz. - Great success often comes at a great cost.


Take the ASU baseball program for example, which after Saturday night’s 12-4 defeat of Fresno State, is just one game away from the College World Series.


So what’s ASU have to sacrifice?


How about the possibility of losing 14 players next year, thanks to the Major League Baseball draft that was held earlier this week.


The first seven batters in the Sun Devil lineup all had their names called on draft day, and were largely responsible for ASU’s latest outburst, in Game 1 of the NCAA Super Regionals in Tempe, Ariz.


“I was talking to [ASU first baseman and the 18th overall pick] Ike [Davis] about it this morning,” ASU catcher Petey Paramore said. “We’ve only got a few games left to put our mark on ASU’s history. We want to go out with something special.”


ASU leadoff man – and Chicago Cubs draftee – Ryan Sontag highlighted the Sun Devil offense, going 2 for 4 with a pair of home runs while scoring three runs and collecting four RBI.


Aside from the usual long ball, ASU also showed it could also manufacture runs by using some small-ball.


ASU held a 3-1 lead before breaking it open with five in the fifth, using seven singles in the process.


By the time ASU second baseman Raoul Torrez plated Kiel Roling with a single to left field, the Sun Devils held an 8-1 advantage.


“ASU’s a great ball club,” Fresno State outfielder Steve Susdorf said. “If you make mistakes, they’re going to make you pay, and that’s exactly what happened tonight.”


Fresno State committed four errors during the contest, resulting in four unearned runs.


Coupled with another one of starter Mike Leake’s vintage performances, ASU had the game well in hand.


Leake tossed 7.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out two.


He stumbled a bit out of the gate, allowing a run in the initial frame, but would take control of the contest in the next few innings, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters he faced.


“Mike Leake is as good a college pitcher as you’re going to find,” ASU coach Pat Murphy said. “I’ll put him against anybody in the country. Think about when he hasn’t done the job. The kid goes out there every time and gets it done.”


Fresno State would chase Leake in the eighth after cutting the deficit to 8-4. ASU would tack on four more of its own, however, in the bottom of the frame to bring the score to its final margin.


The top four hitters in the ASU lineup did most of the brunt work, going a combined 10 for 19 and accounting for eight runs and five RBI.


The Sun Devils can advance to their third CWS in four years with another victory over the Bulldogs Sunday night in Tempe.