ASU Outslugs Jayhawks to Win Series

One day after struggling to get runs across on Kansas pitching, ASU struggled keep Jayhawk batters from crossing the plate. Luckily their bats awoke and pounded out 14 hits to outslug KU 12-10 to take the series two games to one at Surprise Stadium.

Jayhawks' starter Cameron Selik made it through two innings unharmed before ASU finally broke through in the third inning. Raoul Torrez started the inning with a walk and Jason Kipnis reached on a bunt single. Torrez would score on an RBI single to right by Matt Newman and ASU (14-3) led 1-0.

Kipnis, who advanced to third on the single, scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Ramirez to make it 2-0. Kole Calhoun quickly doubled that by connecting for his third home run and made it 4-0.

Kansas (10-5) cut into the lead in the 4th off of ASU starter Josh Spence. Casey Lytle and Zac Elgie got things started with back to back singles to left and were sacrificed to second and third on a bunt by Jason Brunansky. David Narodowski made it 4-1 with an RBI groundout and Brian Heere singled home Elgie to make it 4-2.

Josh Spence's day was done after four innings and ASU ace Mike Leake made his first appearance out of the bullpen and Kansas quickly tied the game off of the junior. Tony Thompson doubled with one out in the 5th and moved up to third on a single by Nick Faunce. Lytle then evened things up at 4-4 with a two-run double to left.

The game didn't stay tied for long as Riccio Torrez continued his hot streak by blasting his first collegiate home run that scored Kole Calhoun to make it 6-4 ASU. Mike Leake helped his cause by doubling with two outs in the inning and then scored when KU first basemen Zac Elgie threw the ball hit by Jared McDonald away.

The Devils appeared to blow the game open in the 6th, but as it turned out later, ASU needed every one of the insurance runs they got. Raoul Torrez walked to start the inning and scored on an RBI double by Kipnis. After a strikeout by Newman, Carlos Ramirez brought Kipnis home on a single to right and ASU led 9-4.

Kole Calhoun continued his big day with a double down the left field line to score Ramirez and Riccio Torrez brought Calhoun home with a single back up the middle. Mike Leake capped the inning with an RBI single to make it 12-4.

The Jayhawks wouldn't go away and fought back to get back into the game. Leake walked Buck Afenir to start the 7th and Thompson followed with a single. After a fielder's choice, Lytle made it 12-5 with a sacrifice fly to right.

Kansas got closer when Murphy removed Leake and turned things over to Jordan Swagerty. The freshman allowed KU to plate five runs in the 8th, one of those being unearned. Narodowski started the inning by reaching on an error by Raoul Torrez. After a single to Robby Price, Afenir singled home Narodowski to make it 12-6. Thompson then singled to load the bases before Nick Faunce unloaded them with a grand slam to dead center and Kansas suddenly was only down 12-10.

Murphy left his freshman closer in the game and he settled down to work 1-2-3 in the ninth to secure the 12-10 victory.

Riccio Torrez continued his torrid week by going 3-4 and driving in three. The freshman will not like leaving Surprise Stadium as he went 11-16 (.688) with four extra base hits and eight RBIs during the week.

Kole Calhoun also went 3-4 and has rebounded nicely after struggling a bit to start the season. The junior hit .429 against Kansas, including his third home run of the year on Sunday.

Josh Spence started and went four innings for ASU, allowing two earned runs. The southpaw worked around six hits and walked four, which caused him to throw a lot of pitches. Mike Leake picked up fourth win of the season by working three innings, but allowed a season-high three runs on five hits.

Swagerty pitched the final two innings and allowed five runs, four earned. All four of his earned runs allowed came on the grand slam by Faunce.

The Devils will return to Packard Stadium on Friday to open Pac-10 Conference play against the Arizona Wildcats (11-7). After being swept in a two game series by Oklahoma St., the Wildcats swept Michigan in a three game weekend series in Tucson. Friday's game, which gets under way at 6:30PM, will likely be a battle of Pac 10 Pitchers of the Years' as 2007 winner Preston Guilmet could square off with 2008 winner Mike Leake.


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