Spence Fans 13 to Knock of Missouri

The Missouri Tigers tried to throw the house at the Arizona State Sun Devils on Tuesday evening at Packard Stadium and for the most part it worked. The Devils could scrap together just three runs against Missouri, but that was all that Josh Spence would need.

The Australian lefty fanned 13 Tiger batter in his seven innings of work. Spence worked both corners and changed speeds and even arm slots to keep Missouri off balanced.

"When you throw 84 you have to," laughed Spence when talking about working the corners, "I was really fortunate tonight."

With the Tigers pitchers all pitching well, ASU needed Spence to be on and he was.

"Spence was the story tonight," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "I'm real proud of him."

The southpaw was working on just three days rest and needed 125 pitches to through seven innings. He had to work through multiple jams and tough spots, but got a strikeout whenever he needed one.

The Devils almost broke onto the board in the third. Drew Maggi singled with one out and then stole second. Matt Newman lined out for the second out, but Zack MacPhee sent a two out pitch into left for a base hit. Third base coach Andy Stankiewicz sent Maggi around third, but Missouri left fielder Greg Folia gunned Maggi at the plate.

Pac 10 Player of the Week Jason Kipnis continued to stay red hot and led off the fourth inning with a home run to right that gave ASU the lead at 1-0.

"Boy is he playing great baseball right now," said Murphy, "If there were any scouts here watching him tonight they saw a good baseball player."

Jared McDonald made it 2-0 with a long home run of his own with two outs in the fourth. It was McDonald's first homer of the season and at the Division 1 level.

The Devils increased their lead to 3-0 in the fifth, thanks to some help from the Tigers. Drew Maggi reached on an error with one out in the inning and advanced to third on a single by Matt Newman. Zack MacPhee then brought Maggi home with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Tigers would get on the board against freshman lefty Mitchell Lambson. Ryan Lollis led off the 8th with a triple into the right field corner and after a pop-out, Aaron Senne brought Lollis home on a groundout to second.

Lambson worked the rest of the eighth and the first out of the ninth without any more damage. Freshman Jordan Swagerty got the last two outs for his first career save.

The Tigers choice to go with a different pitcher per inning will set up a great pitching matchup on Thursday. Teammates on Team USA last summer, Mike Leake and Kyle Gibson will toe the rubber opposite each other at 6:30 on Thursday.

"Oh boy, Gibson vs. Leake, that is going to be good," smiled Murphy.


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