Devils Beat UA, Notch Pac-10 Crown Outright

The only thing that makes a bitter rivalry better is when one of the teams has something to play for. That was the case on Thursday night at Sancet Stadium in Tucson. A 13-6 victory by Arizona State (45-9, 16-6 Pac-10) over its archrival awarded the Sun Devils back-to-back Pac-10 Championships for the first time since 1982.

ASU rocked defending Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Preston Guilmet and the rest of the Wildcat staff for 21 hits on this memorable night.

The Devils got on the board in the first inning, after Guilmet retired the first two batters of the game. Brett Wallace started things with a double and after a Petey Paramore walk, Ike Davis hit one off of Arizona first baseman C.J. Ziegler and into right field for a double that scored two.

Ryan Sontag singled to start the second inning and Raoul Torrez followed with a bunt single. Greg Bordes advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt before a Guilmet wild pitch scored Sontag to make it 3-0. Jason Kipnis would make it 5-0 Devils with a blast over the right centerfield fence for his 13th home run of the season.

The Devils added one more in the third, thanks to two errors by UA shortstop Bryce Ortega. Kiel Roling led off the inning with a walk, before Ortega committed back-to-back errors on balls hit by Sontag and Torrez. Kipnis followed with a single that scored Roling and ASU led 6-0. ASU had a chance for more, but Mike Leake struck out and Brett Wallace grounded out to strand the bases loaded.

ASU added another run in the fourth and would eventually chase Guilmet in the inning. Petey Paramore singled to start the fourth and moved up to second on a wild pitch. An Ike Davis groundout sent Paramore to third and defending Pac-10 Player of the Week Kiel Roling brought him home with a single to left center. Guilmet left after just 3 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on ten hits.

Arizona (36-17, 10-12 Pac-10) began to chip at the lead in the fourth, when they got to ASU starter Josh Satow for three runs. Satow walked Jon Gaston to start the inning and after a balk, C.J. Ziegler doubled to left to score Gaston. T.J. Steele then connected for his 10th homer of the season and the Wildcats cut the lead to 7-3.

A pair of long balls got two of those runs back in the fifth and sixth. Brett Wallace's Pac-10 leading 20th home run of the season would get one of those runs back in the fifth and Ryan Sontag blasted his fourth of the season in the sixth to give ASU a 9-3 lead.

The Devils added two more insurance runs in the seventh as Mike Leake singled following a Jason Kipnis walk to give ASU first and third with one out. Brett Wallace struck out, but Petey Paramore collected a 2 RBI single with two outs to make it 11-3.

The Wildcats got to ASU reliever Stephen Sauer in the bottom of the 7th. After getting the first two outs of the seventh, Sauer allowed a double to Brad Glenn and Jon Gaston singled Glenn home to make it 11-4. C.J. Ziegler then kept pace with Wallace for the Pac-10 home run crown, by launching his 19th of the season and making it an 11-6 game.

Jason Kipnis would add an RBI single in the eighth and Raoul Torrez would steal home in the same inning to cap the scoring and give ASU a 13-6 victory.

Josh Satow pitched five innings and allowed just three earned runs to pick up his 8th victory of the season. Satow allowed four hits and scattered five walks over those five innings. Stephen Sauer allowed three runs in his two innings of work on three hits and struck out four. Tommy Rafferty shut things down with two scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen.

Kipnis led the way offensively, going 4-5 with a homer and four driven in. Petey Paramore also had four hits for the Devils and the junior catcher drove in two runs. Brett Wallace went 3-6 and Ike Davis drove in two in the victory.

Game Two of the Duel in the Desert series will be tomorrow night at 6PM in Tucson. ASU ace Mike Leake (9-1, 3.24) is expected to get the start for the Devils and will be opposed by Arizona's David Coulon (7-3, 3.58).

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