Davis Leads Devils Past Razorbacks

It was a good day for Ike Davis. In the morning he was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and in the evening he used his bat and his arm to help guide the top-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils past #19 Arkansas (11-2) in the first of a two game set at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.

Davis would homer twice, including the game-tying home run in the seventh and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to help keep the Devils undefeated. Davis is hitting a crisp .500 (12 for 24) with four homers and eleven RBIs in his last six games. Tuesday was the second multi-homer game of his career, with the other occurring last Saturday against Massachusetts.

Arizona State (13-0) notched the first tally of the game in the second inning when Marcel Champagnie blasted a homer of his own, before Davis hit his first home run of the day in the fourth, to put ASU up 2-0.

The two run cushion looked to be comfortable for the Devils as Mike Leake was dominating the Razorbacks on the mound. Leake gave up a run in the sixth inning on a RBI triple by Arkansas' Brett Eibner. The Devils added to Leake's lead in the bottom of the sixth when Petey Paramore delivered a clutch two-out two RBI single to put the Devils ahead 4-1.

Leake would run into more trouble in the seventh. Red Hot Razorback Aaron Murphree started the Arkansas rally with a double to right field. Ben Tschepikow followed with a single, advancing Muphree to third. Tim Smalling singled up the middle to score Muphree, but it seemed as if Leake was going to minimize the Arkansas damage by getting Ryan Cisterna to ground into a fielder's choice.

That was the end of Leake's night, as ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy turned to senior Tommy Rafferty to close out the inning. Rafferty got Chase Leavitt to hit a double play ball on the ground to Raoul Torrez, but Torrez threw the ball away allowing a run to score.

Murphy then sensed that he needed a strikeout, so he went to strikeout specialist Reyes Dorado. Brandon Eibner greeted Dorado with a single that scored two more runs and gave Arkansas a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.

The Devils found themselves trailing late in the game for only the second time this season and just like the first time they responded. After Kiel Roling led off the frame with a strike out, Ike Davis planted one onto Rural Road to tie the game at 5-5. Jason Jarvis followed with a strikeout, but an error by Arkansas' shortstop Tim Smalling allowed Champagnie to reach and keep the inning alive. Pinch hitter Matt Newman walked to set up Raoul Torrez, who was looking to make up for his error in the previous inning. Torrez did just that, sending a single to right center that scored Champagnie and gave the Devils the lead for good.

Ike Davis worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, but things got interesting in the ninth. Davis started the inning by striking out Leavitt, but then walked Eibner. Murphy decided to go to his closer and Jason Jarvis. Jarvis got ahead of Logan Forsythe but allowed an infield single up along third base. Murphy then played the matchups going back to the lefthander Davis to face the left-handed Andy Wilkins.

Davis struck out the Razorback freshman for the second out of the inning. Murphy then shifted around his defense again and gave the ball to Stephen Sauer to close things out. Sauer made quick work of Casey Coon, striking him out looking to pick up his first save of the season and to end what turned into a nightmare inning for the official scorer.

Petey Paramore, Marcel Champagnie and Davis all had multiple hits for the Devils, who improve to 13-0, the best start in school history.

Dorado picked up the win, working 2/3 of an inning to improve to 2-0 on the season. Leake went 6 1/3 for ASU, allowing three earned runs.

The second and final game between the two Top 25 teams is tomorrow night at Packard Stadium; first pitch is at 6:30PM.

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