Leake Shuts Down Lobos

Mike Leake didn't feel 100% when he took the mound Wednesday night, but it certainly didn't show. Leake dominated New Mexico tossing six strong innings to pick up his third victory and helped ASU remain undefeated, routing the Lobos 10-1 in front of 2,242 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.

The sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out eight. Leake didn't walk a batter and has walked only one batter in his three starts this season, opposed to 19 strikeouts.

"I was a little tender today," said Leake, "I gave it as much as I could. I wasn't 100% today. My arm wasn't completely loose."

"We take Mike Leake for granted some times, he was absolutely sensational," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "At lot of teams have faced New Mexico and haven't been able to shut them down."

"He pitched really well and made some quality pitches and didn't walk anybody," said Murphy, "This is a team that swings the bat better then what they've shown the past few days, I thought we pitched really well. All four pitchers did a great job."

Leake will take the two-hit shutout, even on a night he didn't feel his best.

"Those are always good, I'll take those."

The Devils chased another starting pitcher before they could get through the first inning as Ryan Escarcega allowed five runs in just 2/3 of an inning. Ike Davis put the Devils on the board first with an RBI single. Matt Newman's walk forced in another run and Marcel Champagnie drove in a run with a fielder's choice. Raoul Torrez would cap the inning with a two-run double to left to make it 5-0 ASU.

"I was more pleased tonight than I have been all year with our offensive approach," said Murphy, "A lot of line drives caught."

Jason Kipnis would find Rural Road in the fourth for his team-leading fifth home run of season to put the Devils on top 7-0.

The Devils would plate their final three runs in the seventh inning. Ryan Sontag and Kipnis had RBIs in the inning to pus ASU's lead to 10-0. Kipnis, Newman, Torrez and Matt Murphy each had two hits apiece in the game. Raoul Torrez's two hit night, along with his solid defense has won him the starting second base position for the time being.

"He's been sensational, he's clearly won the job," said Murphy, "I'm happy for him."

Dustin Brader and Ike Davis pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings respectively before giving way to closer Jason Jarvis in the ninth. Jarvis allowed the only run of the night when New Mexico's Rafael Neda doubled to center to score Matt Hibbitts. ASU's bullpen continued to impress Wednesday night, showing much improvement over last year's bullpen.

"We are much better this year," said Leake, "We have three or four more arms out there this year."

"It is hard to compare last year and this year, we've thrown well out of the pen, we've come in ready," said Murphy, "There hasn't been anybody that has come in and weren't able to find the zone, I love that."

The Devils return to the diamond on Friday when the welcome in the Minutemen of Massachusetts. It will be the first game of the season for UMass.

"They are like any other team that comes down here they got everything to gain and nothing to lose. They are coming down here relaxed. I can go back to at least my own little coaching career and know that coming out of the gym, we got some of the greatest victories at Texas, at Miami, at Arizona State, the first day out of the gym. It's about attitude and the other team thinking that they can't beat us. You have to be ready to play."

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