Devils Display Hot Bats in Win Over Bears

After failing in their attempt to string together a season high 13-game winning streak, Arizona State went back to work on Saturday doing what they do best: Scoring a boatload of runs and getting knockout pitching from standout freshman, Mike Leake. He end result was a 15-2 road victory over the California Golden Bears.

The Devils (33-11 overall, 11-3 in Pac-10) came out of the box looking to put yesterday's offensive struggles and did just that. Scoring eight runs in the first five innings, the offense exploded with six early extra base hits to lead the charge against Cal (22-21, 6-8.)

The offense found the stride that had allowed them to average just fewer than 10 runs per game and found it quick. In the two innings pitched by Bear starting pitcher Alex Rollin, the Devils sent 10 batters to the plate, scored four runs and knocked two balls over the fences of Evans Diamond at Berkeley – a first inning two-run blast by first baseman Brett Wallace (13th on the year) and a solo shot (3) by third baseman, Matt Hall.

The offense continued to pound the pitching of Cal, forcing head coach David Esquer to go to his bullpen six times when in reality – the only runs needed were those that were provided in the early innings.

Leake took the mound for the Devils and held the offense of Cal in check for the first five innings. However, when Leake took the mound in the bottom of the 6th, Cal began to threaten. The inning started off when second baseman Josh Satin took a Leake offering into the left-center field gap for an extra base hit and immediately took third on a wild pitch. Designated hitter David Cooper worked his way to first on a walk – Leake's third of the game – and first baseman Mike Van Winden drove home Satin with a single down the right field line, breaking the shutout and placing runners on first and second base with nobody out.

The breakout freshman, however, would not let any more runs cross the plate in the inning as he induced back to back ground balls, getting a five-three double play and a groundout to second baseman, Eric Sogard. In an inning that started off with the first three runners reaching base – and a run crossing the plate – Leake was able to escape with minimal damage and used the momentum gained there to last eight innings with junior Dustin Brader recording the final three outs in the Devil rout.

It was when Leake was off the field that ASU shined the brightest in Berkeley. Seven Devils racked up multi-hit games with Sogard, Ryan Sontag and Kiel Rolling – who added a three-run home run (11) in the ninth inning – leading the way with three hits apiece. The Devils totaled 19 hits on the afternoon.

Sunday afternoon the Devils take the field looking to win their seventh consecutive series of three games or more when they take on the Bears at 1 p.m. for the final game at Evans Diamond.

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