Blair Pitches ASU to Sweep

It isn't easy for Seth Blair to live up to the performances of Mike Leake and Josh Spence, but quietly the sophomore is putting together a very good year. On Sunday he allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings of work to pitch the Sun Devils to a 6-3 victory and a sweep over the Stanford Cardinal at Packard Stadium.

"He has had four quality starts in a row," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "Ever since USC, Seth has been very good."

"Seth threw the ball as good as anybody this weekend. I thought he was better than the other two. He got a little fatigued in the heat, but he was 93 in the sixth with an 84-miles-per-hour slider at times. That's as good as you're going to see out there."

For the second straight game Arizona State (28-8, 13-2 Pac 10) faced a freshman, this time one with loads of talent. Brett Mooneyham has the stuff to be a top prospect, but he lacks control. His lack of control was on display Sunday as the lefty walked eight Sun Devils in his 3.1 innings.

"His first four pitches were 94, 95, 94, 95," said Murphy, "He has great stuff but you have to throw it over the plate."

For awhile ASU let the wild Mooneyham off the hook. The Devils stranded one walk in the first inning and then left the bases loaded in the 2nd after Mooneyham walked three. A double play helped the freshman in the third, but the Devils still left two on base.

The wildness finally caught up to Mooneyham and Stanford (15-16, 7-8 Pac 10) in the 4th. Jared McDonald led off with a four pitch walk to start and was bunted to second by Raoul Torrez. Zach MacPhee followed by walking on four pitches and Drew Maggi singled and it looked like ASU would have the bases loaded, because McDonald was being held at third. But the throw from right fielder Kellen Kilsgaard got away from catcher Zach Jones allowing McDonald to score and make it 1-0.

A wild pitch allowed MacPhee to score and Mooneyham then walked Kipnis. After Kipnis stole second, Carlos Ramirez doubled to left center to score two and ASU led 4-0. Ramirez would eventually score on a wild pitch to cap the five run 4th.

The Cardinal began to chip away at the lead in the 6th, thanks to an error by Raoul Torrez to let Jeff Whitlow reach to start the inning. Toby Gerhart's one out single off the second base bag and into the outfield sending Whitlow to third. Kellen Kilsgaard brought home Whitlow with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-1.

A solo home run by Adam Gaylord in the 7th, his first of his three year career, cut into that lead even further and after Blair got one more out and allowed another hit, he was pulled from the game.

ASU got an insurance run in the bottom half of the 7th to stretch the lead out to 6-2. Abe Ruiz led off with a double and moved up to third on a groundout by Kole Calhoun. Jared McDonald then singled through the drawn in infield to score Ruiz.

Another solo home run would draw Stanford closer, as Kellen Kilsgaard hit his 8th of the season in the 8th, but Mitchell Lambson closed the door on the Cardinal for the third straight game.

Ruiz was the only Devil with multiple hits, going 2-2 with a double after entering as a pinch hitter in the 4th inning.

Seth Blair improved to 4-1 on the season by allowing two runs, one earned in 6.2 innings while striking out six. Mitchell Lambson worked the final 2.1 innings to pick up his third save of the season.

"I had all three pitches working today," said Blair, "I had good control of my fastball. I can't try and match what Leake and Spence are doing because then I wouldn't want to go on the mound. They are the best Friday and Saturday combo in the country; I just try to do my job on Sunday's."

The Devils will play one game in the mid-week against Hawaii before heading to Cal for a weekend series. Jordan Swagerty will make his first career start against the Rainbows (24-13, 7-4 WAC) Tuesday at 6:30PM at Packard Stadium.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories