Paramore Returns To Lead Devils To Victory

Last Sunday it was feared that ASU captain Petey Paramore had a broken fibula, but it was later announced that he just had a dislocation in his left knee and would up to three weeks. Those twenty one days ended up amounting to just one, as the junior was nothing short of spectacular after the short layoff in a 12-4 victory over Wofford.

Paramore made his surprising and gutsy return to the Sun Devil lineup on Tuesday evening and made his presence known going 3-3 with a home run and four RBIs. Ike Davis added two home runs and six RBIs to lead ASU (27-1) past Wofford (17-11) that was stopped after seven innings due to the travel curfew rule.

Paramore was injured in Sunday's victory over USC. In the eighth inning he felt his knee twist and lock up. He then fell forward and felt his knee pop and fell to the ground. Paramore felt shooting pain in his calf, he described as it felt like he had been stabbed in the calf. Doctors eventually ruled that Paramore suffered a subluxation, which the head of the tibula slipped out of the muscles and ligaments and the pop he felt was it popping back into place. Now there are just a few strained muscles, similar to a shoulder separation.

"It's been kind of crazy," said Paramore, "It went well tonight and it's getting better every day. I was not really expecting too much, the ball went my way tonight. I got a few pitches to hit and was able to do something with it."

"This is pretty much the best possible thing that could have happened. I'm pretty fortunate for that, I'm really lucky for it not to be anything more serious."

Murphy was surprised to see the outpouring of support from the ASU community he received after Paramore went down.

"In 14 years here I've never had more outpouring of information and people interested in how Petey was, I thought that was neat," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "To have so many people call about Petey is great. It's great news that Petey is going to be OK. It's a good feeling to know that the guy that leads your team is back."

"It's really touching," said Paramore, "It is just very touching knowing that a lot of people care about how you are. I got an e-mail from a mother of a young boy who sent me a get well card that he drew. Things like that make more of an influence than anything else, knowing that fans really care about your well being and not just your performance."

Paramore has been told to take it easy on catching, but hopes to return behind the dish on Saturday at Stanford.

"They said to take it easy with the catching, but I should be ready to go on Saturday."

Paramore wasted no time making sure that the Terriers knew his potent bat was back in the lineup by putting the Devils ahead with a two run home run that found the Rural Road palm trees.

"It felt good to finally get one over," said Paramore, "It was a good way to start the game, a good first at bat. It put my mind to rest about my knee."

The Terriers would tie the game off of ASU starter Stephen Sauer in the third inning on a two-run home run by Kyle Behrendt. The home run was aided by shaky defense by the Devils as Behrendt got second life after ASU catcher Kiel Roling dropped a foul pop-up that would have retired Behrendt, but the Terrier left fielder got second life and made the most of it by crushing a home run to right to tie the score at 2-2.

The Devils would regain the lead for good in the third thanks again to Paramore, who got some help from Behrendt, who lost the ball in the lights allowing it to fall in for an RBI double. Ike Davis then followed with the first of his two home runs of the night to make it 5-2 ASU.

Brett Wallace increased ASU's lead to 6-2 in the fourth on an RBI groundout and Paramore picked up his third hit of the day beating out an infield single to make it 7-2 Devils.

"That was kind of the last test for it, I was able to get all the way there with not too much pain," said Paramore.

Wofford would make the game close by tacking on runs in the fifth and sixth, but Davis put the game out of reach. The line drive shot that got out in a hurry was Davis' team leading 10th of the year and gave him his 4th multi-home run game of the season.

"Ike is a special player. It is a matter of Ike being consistent. I hear people saying that he is just a pitcher; well if you were at the ballgame tonight you know darn well he's not just a pitcher. Both those balls got out of their at mach speed. He can just waver a little bit and starts doing too much. But if he just relaxes and uses his hands, he can be special. You don't hit a ball like that, I don't care who you are."

ASU would finish off their scoring in the seventh on an RBI double by Mike Jones and an RBI groundout by Davis, who set a season high with six RBIs.

Stephen Sauer and Tommy Rafferty both went 3 1/3 innings for ASU and Reyes Dorado pitched 1 1/3 innings and Matt Newman pitched his first inning of the season. Rafferty picked up his sixth win of the season and his third in ASU's last four games.

"I wanted Sauer to get out there again to see what we are going to do with him," said Murphy, "Matt Newman, he looked fabulous. I wanted to get his offense solid and comfortable (before he pitched); I told him tonight I was going to get him an inning. He has tremendous poise; he hasn't pitched in how long?"

The Devils will now head out to Palo Alto and take on Stanford for their first true road trip of the season. ASU has played only two games away from Packard Stadium all season, and those were in Surprise.

"Playing at Surprise is a road trip. The field plays totally different. We haven't played well there, so we've had a couple road games. But this will be a great test." said Murphy.

Paramore is excited to finally get out on the road.

"It's exciting; it's fun especially for building a team. It's great for a team to get out of its comfort zone and see how people respond to a different environment. Playing well on the road is a different statement than playing well at home," said Paramore.

Stanford is in the midst of a fine season of their own. The Cardinal (13-8, 2-1 Pac 10) are a much more experienced team then they were last year when they struggled against upper competition. Stanford has swept Cal St. Fullerton and taken two out of three from Texas this season.

"We know a lot about them. They have so many returners and experienced club. They have 13 or 14 position players back. In the last couple years they haven't been that good against us, but now they are playing so much better it'll be interesting to see what goes on."

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