ASU Survives 9th Inning Scare

Eventually the Oregon State Beavers got to Mike Leake; it was just too little, too late. For eight innings on Friday night, Leake was unhittable yet again and threw his second straight complete game to lead the Devils to a 4-2 series opening win at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.

On the offensive side of things, it was the igniter Drew Maggi getting things going again for ASU. The freshman led off the game by being hit by a pitch by Beaver starter Tanner Robles. After a strikeout, Maggi stole second base and moved up to third on a fly out by Carlos Ramirez. Matt Newman then dropped down a bunt single that plated Maggi and made it 1-0 Devils.

The Devils (33-9, 16-3 Pac 10) added a pair in the third, again with Maggi playing a part. Raoul Torrez led off the inning with a single to left center and Maggi followed with a bunt single to give ASU two on with nobody out. Zach Wilson hit a line drive, but it was right at Joey Wong and the shortstop made the play for the first out.

Torrez and Maggi then both executed a double steal that would loom large when Carlos Ramirez hit a groundball to Wong. The sure handed Beaver shortstop threw the ball away that let Maggi score. Torrez would have scored regardless, but the error made it 3-0.

While Leake was cruising, the Devils got him another run in the 5th, thanks again to Maggi. The freshman hit a one out double down the left field line and moved up to third on a wild pitch. Zach Wilson made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly to left.

The ninth inning got interesting, with Oregon State (25-12, 9-7 Pac 10) mounting a comeback bid against Leake. Ryan Ortiz led off the inning with a walk and Stefan Romero roped a ball off the left field wall for a double that moved Ortiz to third. Leake then loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate by hitting Jared Norris with a pitch.

The play of the day came when the next batter, Aldberto Santos, drove the ball to the warning track in right field. Matt Newman made a sensational diving catch that might have ended up saving the game that turned a potential bases clearing extra base hit into just a sacrifice fly.

Koa Kahalehoe followed with another ball that was hit deep, but Kole Calhoun had room to make the catch with another run tagging and scoring to make it 4-2. Leake got out of the inning on the very next pitch, getting Michael Miller to ground out right back to the mound to end the game.

Leake's complete game was his second in a row, the first time that has happened since Josh Satow did it in March of 2007. In all the junior allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out six to pick up his 11th win of the season, the most in the nation. The win also gave Leake 35 for his career, good for fifth place all-time at ASU.

Drew Maggi reached base and scored three times on Friday night. ASU played for the first time all season without leading hitter Jason Kipnis, who sat out with a neck injury. The junior was held out, but was available to pinch hit and may play tomorrow.

ASU and Oregon State will continue their series tomorrow at Goss Stadium. Mitchell Lambson will start for ASU, as Josh Spence will miss his start due to his bruised middle finger he suffered before the Stanford game. Greg Peavey will go for Oregon State with the first pitch at 5PM on Saturday.

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