Leake Pitches Devils to Win at Safeco

Mike Leake should get used to pitching at a big league park, because if he keeps pitching the way he did on Friday, he'll be back at Safeco Field soon, but as a pro. Leake picked up his Pac-10 leading seventh victory of the season by working 7.2 innings and striking out 10 in ASU's 3-1 victory over Washington on Friday.

ASU (21-5, 6-1 Pac 10) improved to 3-3 all-time in Major League Ballparks, while the Huskies lost for the first time at the home of the Seattle Mariners.

Offensively, the Devils got just enough to pace Leake. The Devils got on the board in the third inning, thanks to the free pass from Husky starter Aaron West. Raoul Torrez walked with one out and after Matt Newman flew out to left, Jason Kipnis also drew a free ride. Carlos Ramirez capitalized with a single back up the middle to score Torrez and ASU led 1-0.

The Huskies (10-16, 1-3 Pac 10) got their only run of the evening off of Leake in the 4th to tie the game. Troy Scott drew a walk with one out and after Leake struck out Kyle Conely, he was called for a balk that put Scott in scoring position with two away. Senior Brett Wilcox took advantage of the rare mistake by Leake and tied the game with a single back up the middle.

The Devils almost took the lead back in the fifth, but Jason Kipnis was gunned out at the plate, after he fell down between third and home trying to score from first on a two-out double by Riccio Torrez. Kipnis was tagged out to end the inning.

ASU took the lead back for good in the 6th with another clutch two-out hit, something they lacked in the last few games. Drew Maggi singled to right with two away in the inning to set up the play that changed the game.

Raoul Torrez blooped a single that fell just in front of Washington left fielder Julien Pollard. Maggi showed off his speed as he tried to score from first and was called safe at the plate after home plate umpire Chuck Lyon ruled that Huskies' catcher Brett Wilcox didn't tag Maggi. Washington head coach Ken Knutson argued the call, but to no avail as Maggi's speed scored the eventual winning run.

Carlos Ramirez gave Leake an insurance run leading off the 7th with his 9th home run of the season. The solo shot found the left field bullpen at Safeco and tied Ramirez with Jason Kipnis for the team lead in home runs.

Leake (7-1) ran into a little trouble in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. Andy Bethel led off with an infield single and after a pair of strikeouts, Troy Scott kept the inning alive with a double to center, sending Bethel to third. Leake then intentionally walked All-American Kyle Conley to load the bases and Pat Murphy then turned to freshman Mitchell Lambson to get out of the jam.

Lambson got Brett Wilcox to ground out sharply to Riccio Torrez to end the threat and worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season.

Leake worked 7 2/3 innings and allowed just one earned run and struck out 10 to earn his 7th win of the year. Lambson struck out two in his 1 1/3 inning of work.

Freshman Aaron West made his first career start for Washington and allowed one earned run in 3 2/3 innings, while walking four. Geoff Brown (1-3) picked up the loss for the Huskies by allowing two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Andrew Kittredge and Seth Haehl worked the final three innings for Washington.

Carlos Ramirez went 2-4, drove in two runs and even stole a base for the Devils, as Riccio Torrez and Drew Maggi each picked up a pair of hits on Friday. On his 22nd birthday, Jason Kipnis went 0-2, but walked three times.

ASU and Washington will move their series to Husky Ballpark on the Washington campus for tomorrow's second game of the series. Lefty Josh Spence (5-0, 1.37 ERA) will take the mound for the Devils and the Dawgs will counter with a lefty of their own, sophomore Ben Guidos (1-1, 5.13 ERA). First pitch is at 2PM on Saturday.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories