Devils Trounce Trojans in Pac-10 Opener

The Arizona State Sun Devils (23-1, 1-0 Pac 10) opened up conference play by picking up exactly where they left off last season. The Devils showed the Packard Stadium crowd of 4,371 why they are the defending Pac-10 champions by mashing out 16 hits as they route the USC Trojans 16-5 in game one of a three game weekend series.

The Devils jumped on the Trojans (11-12, 2-2 Pac 10) early by plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an Ike Davis groundout. After a Brett Wallace strikeout, Petey Paramore took a 3-2 pitch the other way for a seeing eye single to put ASU up 1-0.

ASU tally another run in the second on an RBI double by Rocky Laguna, scoring Raoul Torrez who led off the inning with a single.

The Sun Devil offense continued to add to their lead in the third on an RBI single by Marcel Champagnie and an RBI on a sac bunt by Raoul Torrez after loading the bases to start the inning.

The lead would expand to 8-0 after ASU struck for four runs in the fourth. Kipnis led off with a single before Ike Davis lined a rocket at USC centerfielder Nick Buss. The ball hit off of Buss' glove and fell to the ground for a double. Things only got worse defensively for the Trojans in the fourth as they botched a ground ball hit by Wallace. USC shortstop Grant Green tried to throw out Davis at third but third baseman Joe De Pinto dropped the ball. Kipnis scored on the play to make it 5-0 ASU.

Paramore picked up his second RBI of the game on a single to right and then USC decided to have a snowball fight. Trojans pitcher Tommy Milone tried to pick off Wallace at second, but the ball hit off of the bag and flew into centerfield. Wallace came all the way around to score and Buss' throw from center was way over the head of catcher Robert Stock allowing Paramore to come around to score.

The Trojans would finally get a run across against ASU starter Josh Satow in the 5th inning. Satow walked USC's Will Rice to lead off the inning and De Pinto followed with a single. Grant Green would add an RBI single and Roberto Lopez lined a two-run double to left to make it 8-3 ASU. Satow couldn't make it out of the fifth as after the double he hit Derek Perren with a pitch and allowed a single to Hector Rabago. Murphy then decided to go to Tommy Rafferty, ending Satow's night after just 4 2/3 innings.

Just as it appeared that USC was going to fight back into the game, the Sun Devils turned it back into a laugher with an eight-run fifth inning. For the fifth straight inning ASU got their leadoff hitter on base, this time it was Rocky Laguna reaching on a walk by USC reliever Jordan Hershieser. A walk to Ryan Sontag and a lineout by Kipnis would be all the son of former Cy Young winner Orel Hershieser would see. USC Head Coach Chad Kreuter would turn to David Cooper who didn't fare any better.

Ike Davis would greet Cooper with a two-run double to make it 10-3 ASU. After an intentional walk to Wallace and a walk to Paramore, Kiel Roling unloaded on a 3-2 pitch sending it off the center field fence, clearing the bases and building the Devils' lead to 13-3. Walks plagued the Trojans in the eight run fifth, as they walked five Sun Devil batters. Rocky Laguna would add an RBI single and Sontag would plate two on a RBI triple to cap the inning.

Rafferty picked up his fourth win of the season by pitching a perfect 1 1/3 innings of relief. Seth Blair pitched the final three innings for the Devils, allowing two runs en route to his first save of his career. USC, who took two of three from Arizona last weekend, had their opportunities, but stranded 13 runners.

ASU's leadoff hitter reached in six of their eight innings at the plate and ironically they scored in five of those six.

The Devils and Trojans will meet again tomorrow for game two of the three-game set. First pitch is scheduled for 6PM at Packard Stadium.

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