Big 5th Leads Devils to Win over Kansas

Friday night's contest with the Kansas Jayhawks was starting to look eerily similar to Tuesday's against the Jayhawk's rival Kansas State ASU was getting shut down by an ace from the Big 12, but then all things changed with one half inning. The Devils scored six runs in the fifth to take control and cruise to a 9-4 win at Surprise Stadium.

ASU (13-2) starter Seth Blair returned from a shoulder injury and was cruising along with Jayhawk starter Shaeffer Hall into the fifth.

Hall, entered the game with a 1.27 ERA in three starts, was making quick work of the Devils early on. But an error by Kansas shortstop David Narodowski quickly changed Hall's fate and led to a big fifth inning for Arizona State.

Mike Leake reached on the error with one out in the inning and got all the way to third on a single by Riccio Torrez. Pat Murphy then turned to his bench and Andy Workman made him look good with a single to right that put the Devils ahead 1-0. Raoul Torrez followed with a single of his own to score his brother Riccio.

Kole Calhoun made it four straight hits with a single to right to load the bases for Jason Kipnis. The junior made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to center and it looked like Hall would limit the damage to just three, but Carlos Ramirez connected for his 8th home run of the season to make it 6-0 Devils. Ramirez has now homered in three straight games.

Blair was pulled after getting the lead and freshman Mitchell Lambson took over on the mound. Lambson, who struggled against Kansas State on Tuesday, carried over those struggles to Friday by allowing a two-run homer to Tony Thompson in the 6th to cut the ASU lead to 6-2.

ASU answered with three runs off of freshman reliever Kevin Burk in the home half of the sixth. Burk walked Leake to start the inning and Riccio Torrez sent Leake to third with a single to left. After Zack MacPhee grounded out, Raoul Torrez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Lefty Travis Blakenship took over on the mound for Kansas (9-4) and struck Calhoun out for the second out. Jason Kipnis had the task of salvaging the inning for ASU and he did just that by doubling to left that cleared the bases and made it 9-2 ASU.

The Jayhawks got two runs off of reliever Jeeter Ishida in the ninth on a two run single by Narodowski.

Blair worked five scoreless innings and struck out four in his first appearance in almost two weeks to pick up his second win of the season. Lambson allowed two runs in his two innings of work. Jake Borup worked a scoreless eighth inning before Ishida allowed two runs in 2/3 before Kyle Brule finished off KU.

Riccio Torrez went 3-4 for ASU and Jason Kipnis drove in four runs in the victory.

The Devils and Jayhawks will continue their three game series at Surprise Stadium tomorrow with the first pitch coming one hour after the Diamondbacks and Royals spring training game which starts at 1 PM.

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