Champagnie Leads Devils Past Hawai'i

For a team to win a national championship, they need to be able to win on days where their bats aren't exactly clicking. On Friday at Surprise Stadium the Arizona State Sun Devils did just that. Led by their outstanding pitching and defense, ASU defeated the Hawai'i Rainbows 3-0.

The Devils scored first in the second inning when Ike Davis scored from second after an error by Hawai'i shortstop Greg Garcia off the bat of Marcel Champagnie.

Hawai'i starter Jared Alexander did an excellent job of keeping Sun Devil batters off balance all night. Alexander allowed just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings of work. Alexander scattered eight hits, had no walks and struck out five.

"He had great command of three pitches," Murphy said. "You couldn't sit on his fastball, he was controlling it well. I'd take him in a heartbeat."

ASU's bats would be silent until the seventh when Raoul Torrez tripled off of the left field wall scoring Matt Newman. It came after Champagnie was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball by Newman, after tripling to start the inning. The RBI triple by Torrez would end Hawai'i starter Jared Alexander's 21 straight inning streak without allowing an earned run. Champagnie would triple in the eighth to score Petey Paramore to put ASU up 3-0.

Champagnie finished 3-4 with two triples and an RBI. The transfer from Kaskaskia JC also was outstanding in the field making the routine plays along with the spectacular. Champagnie ended the game with an outstanding diving stop up the middle.

"I just try to play every game hard; I guess I'm showing that I'm capable of playing well, but what matters is if the team is capable. If the team is not winning, I'm not doing my job," said Champagnie.

"Stanky (Assistant Coach Andy Stankiewicz) is developing another star," said Murphy. Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Jason Kipnis added two hits for the Devils. Kipnis had to leave the game in the seventh inning after being hit by a pitch in the elbow earlier in the game.

"He's hurting. The last two times he came up, he couldn't feel two fingers. He is potentially out; we'll see. It's a nerve thing. It's terrible when something like that happens to a kid who is going so good," said Murphy.

Jason Franzblau started for the Devils and went just three innings. Franzblau didn't allow a hit, but labored through his three innings. Stephen Sauer struck out four over 2 1/3 to record his first win of the season. The Warriors threatened against Sauer in the sixth as they had runners at first and second with just one out. Reyes Dorado relieved Sauer and after a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, Dorado closed out the frame with two strikeouts.

Dorado found himself in a similar jam in the seventh and was bailed out by Tommy Rafferty. Rafferty quickly killed the Rainbow threat and pitched 2 2/3 before running into trouble himself in the ninth. Jason Jarvis came in and got the final out of the game for his first save of the season.

"We pieced it together and made good plays behind them," Murphy said of his five pitchers.

"It's always easy to pitch when your team is scoring a bunch of runs," said Rafferty, ""If we get tested by a team and overcome that, it's going to be good for us."

"I'm throwing the sinker up there and letting them hit it, it is easy to pitch in front of that defense."

ASU takes the diamond again on Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines at Surprise Stadium. First pitch is scheduled to be around 4:45. Michigan lost to the Devils on Thursday, and fell 4-3 against Portland Saturday. Josh Satow will take the hill for ASU.

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