Spence's Complete Game Leads Devils Past USC

ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy wanted to give Mike Leake an extra day of rest, he finally has a pitcher that can allow him to do that. Josh Spence was outstanding again on his way to his first complete game as a Sun Devil, allowing no earned runs and striking out 10 en route to ASU's 2-1 victory over USC at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles.

In a true pitcher's duel, there always is the hard luck loser and on Friday that was USC's Brad Boxberger. The Trojan's junior ace carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but his slip up in the sixth cost him once again. Boxberger owns a 2.23 ERA, but fell to 2-3 on the season.

The Trojans (10-11, 1-3 Pac 10) got their run off of Spence n the fourth, thanks to an over aggressive play by Riccio Torrez. Anthony Vasquez reached to start the inning on an error by the first baseman Torrez, who overplayed the ball.

Spence got two outs after the error, but Billy Pinkerton's swing hit Carlos Ramirez's glove for catcher's interference to keep the inning alive. Freshman Ricky Oropesa took advantage of the Sun Devil's mistakes with a two out RBI single to put the Trojans up 1-0.

It seemed like that one run could hold up with the way Boxberger was rolling through ASU's lineup. But the sixth inning changed the game.

Raoul Torrez got hit by a pitch to start the inning and then Mike Leake broke up the no-hitter with a pinch hit single that sent Torrez to third. Jason Kipnis tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center. Matt Newman then singled to send Leake to third and Carlos Ramirez scored Leake for what would be the winning run with a single to left.

The Trojans threatened to tie the game in the ninth against Spence after getting two infield singles with two outs. That brought up one of the best hitters in the country in All-American Grant Green, but Spence got Green to ground out to Raoul Torrez to end the game and improve to 5-0 on the season.

Spence allowed seven hits and walked three, but didn't allow an earned run. The Australian lefty struck out 10 for the second straight game.

Carlos Ramirez went 2-4 for ASU (18-3, 4-0 Pac 10) and drove in the winning run. ASU had 3 of their 4 hits in the sixth inning rally.

The Devils and the Trojans will continue their series tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM with Mike Leake taking the mound for ASU. Kevin Couture will be the likely starter for the Trojans.

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