Devils End DeMarini Invitational with Blowout

The first DeMarini Invitational went extremely well for the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU, who was undefeated in this tournament played at home, capped a monster weekend blanking Pac-10 foe #11 Oregon State 11-0 in front of 3,710 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. In the three games of the invitational the Devils outscored their opponents 36-6.

"We didn't play great, we didn't play one complete game, but either did the other teams. I think all those teams will be in their conference races. I think Vanderbilt (who ASU routed on Saturday) will be in the College World Series. They are a great team," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "We're a long way from a good club; we have some glaring weaknesses out there."

On Sunday, ASU jumped on Oregon State early, scoring seven runs in the first inning, and never looked back the rest of the way. For Brett Wallace the afternoon began where he left off yesterday, sending the game's second pitch over the leftfield wall for his third home run in as many at bats.

Petey Paramore would reach on an error, one of four on the day for the Beavers and Kiel Roling walked. Paramore would score on a single by Jason Kipnis to make it 2-0 ASU. Ryan Sontag would then walk to load the bases for Marcel Champagnie. Champagnie lined a 1-1 pitch from Beaver starter Greg Peavey into the gap clearing the bases.

Matt Newman would reach on an error by shortstop Joey Wong, with Champagnie moving to third base. Peavey tried the third to first pickoff move, but was called for a balk, plating Champagnie to make it 6-0 ASU. Raoul Torrez fouled with a double down the left field line, scoring Newman and giving ASU a 7-0 lead. Before Peavey and the Beavers knew what hit them, Peavey was chased from the game and the Beavers trailed by seven.

ASU would strike again in the third inning, when Ike Davis doubled into the left field corner, scoring Newman. Kiel Roling would later double to right field plating two more runs and making it 10-0 Devils. ASU's final run would come in the fourth inning on a Matt Newman RBI single.

The eleven runs were more than enough for the Devils as their pitching on Sunday afternoon was outstanding. Freshman Seth Blair picked up his first career win, throwing four innings and scattering three hits. Blair was on a pitch count, according to Murphy. Winthrop transfer Jason Franzblau and senior Tommy Rafferty each pitched two scoreless innings before giving way to Jason Jarvis. Jarvis, who was ruled eligible for the time being on Friday, pitched a scoreless ninth throwing nothing but fastballs.

"It was exactly what I thought it was going to be," said Blair on his first career start, "It's just another game, just do exactly what coach tells you to do. After I threw strike one, it was just me against the hitter. Same thing you have been doing your whole life to get here."

"I just do what they tell me to do. I'm sure I could have thrown more pitches, but I don't really think that there is any reason to rush it at the beginning of the year. If coach wants me to keep going, if not, I'm pleased to let somebody else take the ball."

"Seth did a phenomenal job. He has no idea how good he is. Frenchy (Franzblau) did good," said Murphy, "The bullpen came in ready, Rafferty was tremendously impressive, I thought our bullpen did a nice job."

The Sun Devil offense dominated opposing pitching over the weekend, led by Brett Wallace who went 5-12 with 3 HRs and 9 RBIs.

"I think ‘Wally' is on it," said Murphy, "I don't think you are going to see him getting into too many funks. He is just so darn good that he can be off it and be on it."

Kipnis and Davis each had 5 RBIs over the course of the DeMarini Invitational. Marcel Champagnie had a good first weekend in maroon and gold as well, coming a long ways from where he was in the fall.

"Marcel had a great weekend. At the end of the fall, I didn't think he'd ever play here. I told him that he might look for another place to go to school, I'm not sure I'm going to get you the playing time you want," said Murphy, "He came back early on his own and apparently worked his butt off and ‘Stanky' (Asst. Coach Andy Stankiewicz) noticed a big difference. Up until a week ago he wasn't our starting shortstop. Stanky came to me and said that this is a guy we have to play."

ASU will play host to #18 Michigan on Thursday night at Packard Stadium before hitting the road for the Coca-Cola Classic next weekend in Surprise. They'll square off against Hawai'i on Friday, Michigan Saturday and will host Portland on Sunday at Packard Stadium.

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