Devils Beat Cats to Clinch Pac-10 Title

One win. That's all 6th ranked ASU needed in their three-game set against their archrival, to capture their first outright league title since 1993. The Sun Devils took all the drama away in the series opener, as they tamed the 13th ranked Wildcats 8-5, in front of a season-high crowd of 4,088 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark on Wednesday night.

The visitors from Tucson drew first blood with a solo shot by C.J. Ziegler in the first. Fortunately for the maroon and gold, that was also the last time Arizona led in the contest. Additionally, their lead was short-lived. An Eric Sogard double, along with two sac flys by Ike Davis and Petey Paramore put Arizona State ahead 3-1 in the bottom of that inning.

Matt Spencer drove-in Paramore in the third, and later that inning Matt Hall goes yard with a two-run homerun to give ASU a 6-1 edge. Ironically, Hall's HR took place after unsuccessful bunt attempts that netted him two strikes and forced him to swing the bat. A throwing error by Arizona's second baseman gave ASU a 7-1 in the fifth.

ASU pitcher Mike Leake got roughed up in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers as Arizona inched back into the game trailing just 7-4. Paramore scored again, this time via a sac fly by Andrew Romine in the seventh. Sun Devil closer Jason Jarvis surrendered a homerun in the eighth, which ultimately proved to be the last run scored in the contest.

Leake recorded the win and now has a season mark of 12-1. On Wednesday night he struck out six and allowed four runs in six innings of work. Davis pitched in the seventh and gave up no runs.

The second game of the series will take place on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The Sun Devils (42-12, 18-4 Pac-10) will have Josh Satow (10-3, 2.21 ERA) on the mound. The Wildcats (39-14, 14-8 Pac-10) will counter with newly crowned conference Pitcher of the Year Preston Guilmet (11-1, 1.58).

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