Devils Stay Hot, Rout Northern Colorado

The Arizona State Sun Devils continued to win in pretty similar fashion Thursday night in front of 2,805 at Packard Stadium. ASU used their winning formula that they have all but patented this season, a dynamic offense and a lock down bullpen to defeat the Northern Colorado Bears 13-3 in the opening game of the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament.

Jason Franzblau got the ball for Pat Murphy's Sun Devils after not recording an out in his last outing against Troy. Franzblau did make it out of the first inning this time out, but still continued to struggle on the mound.

The Bears, who came into Thursday's game with just a .211 team batting average, jumped on Franzblau in the second inning. Kevin Sandberg led off with a single to left center and it seemed like he would be stranded at first before Erik Whinery singled with two outs. Erik Hegstad followed with a shot down the left field line that was good enough for a two-run double, putting Northern Colorado up 2-0.

The Bears, who were playing their sixth game in seven days in three different states, didn't hold the lead for long as the Devils struck back in the bottom of the third. Mike Jones led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Raoul Torrez. Jason Kipnis would start his huge day at the plate with a double to left field scoring Torrez and Jones and tying the game at 2-2.

Matt Newman followed with a single to right, sending Kipnis to third. Brett Wallace would follow with a double play that scored Kipnis. Two out walks always find a way to bite pitchers in the back, especially if you walk a guy in front of defending national player of the week Ike Davis. Bears' starter Jon Klausing did just that, walking Petey Paramore with two outs and watched as Davis made him pay by crushing a home run to center, putting ASU in front 5-2.

The Bears would chase Franzblau in the fourth. Sandberg led off the frame with his second hit of the evening and Andy Mees followed with a single. After Franzblau struck out Cody Henry, he allowed an RBI single to Whinery and that ended his evening. Tommy Rafferty took over for the Devils and got out of Franzblau's jam.

ASU added to their lead in the fourth on RBIs by Torrez and Kipnis. Kiel Roling led off the frame with a single, but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice by Mike Jones. After Jones stole second, Raoul Torrez drove in the Devils' centerfielder with an opposite field double. Torrez would come around to score on Kipnis' second hit of the night.

The Devils would add another run in the 6th when Torrez scored on a balk. Brett Wallace capped the 6th inning with a blast to Rural Road for his 8th home run of the year.

ASU would finish their scoring in the 8th on RBIs by Hayden Moss and Greg Bordes. Moss would pick up his first career RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Bordes followed with a 2 RBI single to put the Devils ahead 13-3.

Rafferty picked up his second win of the season, working 1.2 innings, walking two and striking out three. Freshman Kyle Brule picked up his first career save, working the final four innings of the game, allowing no runs on just three hits and striking out five.

The Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament continues tomorrow for the Devils as they face the Bears at 7PM. The 8th ranked UC Irvine Anteaters will face Florida International in Friday's first game at Packard Stadium at 1PM.

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