Kipnis' Late Heroics Power Comeback Win

Jason Kipnis hadn't hit one out of the yard since March 22, but on a night in which Barry Bonds visited his former team, he picked a good time to end his drought. Kipnis did his best Bonds impression by hitting homers in the eighth and ninth inning to propel the Arizona State Sun Devils to a 10-5 comeback win over the UCLA Bruins on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

ASU scored three to tie the game in the eighth and took the lead with a five run ninth inning off of UCLA reliever Brandon Lafferty. The win propelled the Devils into sole possession of first place in the Pac 10, as Stanford plays a non-conference series.

The Bruins jumped out to an early lead against ASU ace Mike Leake. Jermaine Curtis led off the bottom of the first with a single and Blair Dunlap sacrificed him to second. Alden Carrithers singled home Curtis and UCLA had an early 1-0 lead.

Leake ran into trouble in the third inning and Curtis again started things with a single. After striking out Dunlap, Leake hit Carrithers with a pitch and Casey Haerther made it hurt with an RBI double to make it 2-0. Brandon Crawford put UCLA up 4-0 with a two-run double to left field and Mickey Weisser singled him home to put Leake and the Devils in an early 5-0 hole.

Brett Wallace put ASU on the board with his 13th home run of the season, tying him for ninth place on the ASU all-time list. Petey Paramore made it 5-2 with a home run of his own, making Wallace and Paramore the first Devils to hit back to back home runs Wallace and Ike Davis did it in 2006.

The game would stay at 5-2 all the way into the eighth inning as Leake and UCLA starter Tim Murphy both settled into grooves. Leake settled down to go seven innings, while setting a career high with 10 strikeouts. Murphy also struck out 10 and would receive a tough no decision.

Ryan Sontag started the rally in the eighth with a single up the middle and Kipnis cut the lead to 5-4 with a homer to left-center off of Murphy. Rob Rasmussen took over on the mound for the Bruins and proceeded to walk Wallace and allowed a single to Paramore. Kiel Roling bunted the runners to second and third before Marcel Champagnie singled home Wallace to tie the game.

Tommy Rafferty took over for Leake in the eighth and pitched a scoreless frame, sending the 5-5 game into the ninth. Sontag once again started things with a one out single and Kipnis did exactly what he did in the eighth, giving him his second multi-game of the season, putting the Devils in front 7-5. Champagnie would add to the lead with an RBI single that scored Brett Wallace to make it 8-5. Kiel Roling would score on the play when the relay throw was high and Champagnie stole home to make it 10-5.

Rafferty pitched around a two-out double in the ninth to seal the deal and picked up his Pac-10 leading ninth win of the season.

Jason Kipnis was 3-5 and had four RBIs to go along with his two home runs. Marcel Champagnie was the DH on the day, as Kiel Roling shifted to first base to replace the injured Ike Davis, who is likely to miss the rest of the series.

ASU and UCLA will play game two tomorrow afternoon in front of a television audience. First pitch is scheduled for 4PM on FSN Arizona.

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