Devils Use Extra Frames to Knock Off Stanford

After playing 28 straight games in the state of Arizona, the Sun Devils (28-1, 4-0 Pac 10) ventured out on the road for the first time and it didn't seem to faze him. Once again when their offense wasn't at its finest ASU got a strong performance from their bullpen and timely hitting to defeat Stanford 6-4 at Sunken Diamond and matched their best start ever.

The Devils jumped on Stanford (13-9, 2-2 Pac 10) starter Max Fearnow early and after just three pitches ASU had a 2-0 lead. Jason Kipnis led off with a single and Ike Davis hit his 11th home run of the season to give the Devils the early lead. Fearnow followed with two walks and was pulled from the game in favor of David Stringer.

Stanford scored an unearned run off ASU starter Mike Leake in the third. Leake hit Zach Jones to lead off the inning and Jake Schlander followed with an infield single to set up the threat. After a fielder's choice, Leak threw away a pickoff throw to first that allowed Jones to score. Leake eventually worked out of the jam with two straight bounce outs to Ike Davis to end the inning and kept the score at 2-1.

ASU responded in the fourth with two runs to build their lead back up to 4-1. Jason Kipnis started things with a walk and went to third on a single by Davis. Petey Paramore followed with an RBI ground out that scored Kipnis and sent Davis to second. Brett Wallace gave the Devils a three-run lead with a two-out RBI single.

Stanford answered right back in the bottom half of the fourth against Leake. Randy Molina led off the frame with a double to centerfield and scored on a RBI double by Joey August. Austin Yount then singled up the middle to score August and made it 4-3 ASU.

Sean Ratliff would even things up with a solo home run in the sixth off of Leake. Leake would run into trouble in the seventh when Jones led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy then turned to Tommy Rafferty out of the bullpen. Rafferty got Cord Phelps to line out to Rocky Laguna and then walked Brendan Domaracki. Murphy then took the ball from Rafferty and gave it to Ike Davis. Davis worked out of the jam and kept the game tied at 4-4 by getting Castro to line out to Laguna.

The Devils threatened to take the lead in the 8th when Kipnis walked and advanced to third on two wild pitches. After Ike Davis walked, Paramore tried to lay down a safety squeeze but Kipnis was nailed at the plate. Brett Wallace lined a shot that seemed destined for right field but was caught by Molina for the third out.

Reyes Dorado came in to pitch in the ninth and got two quick outs before walking Schlander. Murphy then gave the ball back to Davis to try and get out of another jam. Schlander stole second and the pitch got away from ASU catcher Petey Paramore and Schlander advanced to third, giving Stanford the winning run just 90 feet away with two outs. Davis saved the game by getting Phelps to ground out to second and sent the game into extra innings.

It was ASU's first extra inning affair of the season and they made sure it didn't last very long. Once again the rally was started by a single by Kipnis, who reached base five times on Friday. Ike Davis then walked setting up Paramore with the game on the line. Paramore sent a single into left field, scoring Kipnis and gave ASU a 5-4 lead. Stanford catcher Jason Castro was ejected after the single for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Jim Garman. After an intentional walk to Wallace, Matt Newman drove in Davis with a sacrifice fly to put the lead at 6-4.

Ike Davis made quick work of the Cardinal in the 10th to pick up his third win of the season.

The Devils and Cardinal will play game two tomorrow at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto at 1PM. Josh Satow (3-0, 3.86) will get the ball for the Devils and will be opposed by Stanford's Erik Davis (3-1, 5.22).

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