Baseball Stays Hot, Rout Wolverines

Transfers are always a big part of the college baseball scene and the Devils took advantage of the last year that transfers don't have to sit out a year, by snatching up Jason Kipnis and Marcel Champagnie. The two continued their red-hot start in the maroon and gold, combining for five hits and eight RBIs to lead the Sun Devils to a 15-4 rout of the #13 Michigan Wolverines.

"It's great results, but we didn't play great," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy, "Kipnis is on it. Ike is struggling a bit, but his attitude is great. Marcel has been great."

The Devils started the scoring in the second. Petey Paramore reached on an error by Wolverines third baseman Adam Abraham. Marcel Champagnie then doubled to right center, Michigan right fielder Ryan LaMarre bobbled the ball allowing Paramore to come all the way around to score.

The floodgates began to open against wild Michigan starter Mike Wilson in the third inning. Wilson would walk the bases loaded and then walked Ike Davis to force in a run. Champagnie followed by ripping a single up the middle to plate two more Devils.

Matt Newman was then called upon by Murphy to hit for Andy Workman who started in right field. Newman responded by blooping one into centerfield for two more RBIs. Pitcher Mike Leake, who got to hit for himself, followed with an RBI single to make it 7-0 ASU after three. "It's what I hope for," said Leake regarding his at bat, "It was nice to get a hit in my first few at bats, it's nice to contribute on both sides."

Kipnis would increase ASU's lead to eight by launching a rocket onto Rural Road in the 4th. Kipnis wasn't done though; he came up to the plate again in the fifth but this time with the bases loaded. Kipnis sent a towering blast well over the Green Monster in centerfield, something that hasn't been done often. Just like that the Devils held a 13-0 advantage. Brett Wallace would double in the final two ASU runs in the 6th.

"I just put it up in the wind," said Kipnis on his grand slam over the monster.

Michigan walked eleven Sun Devil batters and hit four more.

"That first kid, he's good. They really believe in him, he pitched in the super regional last year. It was us taking our time, I thought that was great. I think that is how good offensive players approach things. It is not always that the pitchers helped you, we just did a good job laying off," said Murphy.

"We knew they were struggling on the mound," said Kipnis, "It worked out well, I'm just happy we got a W tonight, they are real good team, they'll come back and it will be a great game on Saturday."

Kipnis has found his groove early as a Sun Devil; he sees it simply as just seeing the ball well.

"You can ask a bunch of hitters when they become comfortable, they are not trying to defend themselves at the plate, they are trying to attack the ball," said Kipnis, "You are full of confidence and aggressive at the plate."

On the mound, starter Mike Leake dominated the Wolverines through the first six innings. Leake allowed just one hit and faced the minimum through six innings. The sophomore ran into trouble in the seventh when Michigan pieced together five singles to score four runs.

"Mike Leake was the story tonight," said Murphy, "Total control for six (innings). I like Leake, I like that kid."

"Michigan has a really good hitting team. Michigan is at a disadvantage, they are not at full swing yet. They play up in that snow. I've been in that situation, it's not fun. They'll be a much better club Saturday and they'll be a much better club down the road. I like their team, they have experience and confidence."

"Got a little tired, started leaving stuff up," said Leake. "I tried to not look at the scoreboard at all and play like it was a zero-zero game."

Dustin Brader relieved Leake and got the final out to get out of the jam. Brader finished the final two innings and didn't allow a run.

The Devils will head to Surprise to take on the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors at 4 PM tomorrow. Josh Satow won't pitch until Saturday against the Wolverines.

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