Torrez' Slam Starts Rout of Wildcats

It wasn't a conference game on Wednesday in Tucson, the Devils already took care of all three of those. Essentially the game had no bearing on the conference standings, but somebody forgot to tell ASU that. For the second straight game against the Wildcats, ASU put up 20 or more runs, winning their fourth straight over their rivals 20-3 at Kindall Field.

The Devils sent Matt Newman to the hill and the Cats struck first against him in the 2nd inning. Bobby Coyle led off the inning with a single up the middle and after a fly out, Dwight Childs singled to put two on. Kyle Stiner put Arizona on the board with a single to right that scored Coyle, but Newman worked out of it with no further damage.

ASU (32-9) was kept off the board by Arizona starter Bryce Bandilla until striking big in the 4th to take control of the game. Bandilla walked Jason Kipnis and Carlos Ramirez to start the inning and Matt Newman singled to load the bases. Riccio Torrez then unloaded them with his 4th home run of the season to give the Devils a 4-1 lead.

That lead grew in the next inning, starting the rally for ASU was bad defense by the Wildcats. Bryce Ortega booted a ball hit by Drew Maggi to start the inning and Maggi moved up to second on a balk. Carlos Ramirez drove Maggi in with a one out double down the left field line and Ramirez came around to score on a single to center by Matt Newman.

However, Newman couldn't get through the fifth to qualify for the win. Ortega reached on an infield single with one away in the fifth and Hunter Pace followed with a hit to left. A throwing error by Johnny Ruettiger moved the runners up to second and third. Newman got Dillon Baird to pop out for the second out, but Pat Murphy then pulled him for Jordan Swagerty.

Freshman Jett Bandy greeted Swagerty with a double to left center to plate two runs and cut the Devils lead to 6-3. That would be all the Cats would get off of Swagerty, who pitched well for his third straight outing.

Johnny Ruettiger's first career home run off of the scoreboard in the 6th made it 7-3, but it was the 9th inning that blew the game wide open.

UA (19-21) brought in all-conference closer Jason Stoffel to pitch the ninth, but the walls soon came crumbling in on the Cats. Raoul Torrez started the inning with a single up the middle and then stole second base. Drew Maggi then walked and Stoffel hit Kipnis to load the bases. The first run of the inning scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-3.

Ramirez then walked to reload the bases and Stoffel walked Newman to force in a run. Abe Ruiz then reached on an error by leftfielder Bobby Coyle that cleared the bases and ASU led 12-3. Kole Calhoun followed with a homer to centerfield for the sixth and seventh runs of the inning.

The Devils were far from done however. After the Cats got one out, Johnny Ruettiger re-started things with a double to right center field. Pinch hitter Jared McDonald then walked and Drew Maggi singled to load the bases again. Jason Kipnis made it 16-3 with a two run double and pinch hitter Austin Barnes followed with an RBI of his own. Kole Calhoun capped the big inning for ASU and for himself with a two run double to stretch the lead to seventeen.

Riccio Torrez and Calhoun each drove in four runs, while Matt Newman plated three. Newman, Calhoun, Carlos Ramirez and Johnny Ruettiger all had multiple hits on Wednesday.

Swagerty picked up the victory, his second of the season, by working 3.1 scoreless innings. Matt Newman allowed three runs in his sixth start of the season and finished just one out away from qualifying from the win. Jason Franzblau worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the game.

ASU now heads to Corvallis for a three game set with Oregon State. Mike Leake will take the mound on Friday with the first pitch at 5PM.

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