Devils Edge San Diego for Sweep

They might not have played their best baseball in the past two games against a tough San Diego Toreros team, but they found a way to win two one run ballgames to sweep the two game mid-week series. On Wednesday, the offense found ways to get runs home in different ways and knocked of San Diego 7-6 in front of 2,237 at Packard Stadium.

ASU (35-11) got out to an early lead in the late afternoon affair thanks to an error by Torero shortstop and Brophy alum Sean Nicol. Drew Maggi led off the game with a high chopper that he beat out for an infield single. Maggi moved up to second after Jason Kipnis' double play ground ball was bobbled by the second baseman. Carlos Ramirez then hit a grounder to Nicol who tried to get Maggi at third, but threw the ball away allowing Maggi to make it 1-0.

San Diego (27-23) starter Paul Sewald then walked Kole Calhoun and Abe Ruiz to load the bases and Matt Newman helped his own cause with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0. Sewald got out of the inning by picking Ruiz off of second base.

ASU sent Matt Newman to the mound, a day after picking up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. The Toreros cut into the ASU lead with a solo homer by Chris Engell in the second.

The Devils got some help from San Diego to get that run back in the 4th. Matt Newman blooped a double that hit off of Nicol's glove to lead off the inning. Newman then stole third base and after Johnny Ruettiger was hit by a pitch, Zack MacPhee's popup was dropped by second baseman Chris Engell allowing Newman to score. The play officially went down as a fielder's choice because Ruettiger was forced out at second.

The Toreros tied the game in the 5th with a two out rally against Newman. Newman walked Nicol with two outs and James Meador followed with a single. Zach Walters hit a groundball to third baseman Jared McDonald who was indecisive in his decision and Nicol beat him to the bag. Bryan Haar made that mistake hurt with a two run single to even the score at 3-3.

ASU took the lead back in the next half inning, putting three on the board. Drew Maggi led off the inning with a double and was bunted to third by Jason Kipnis. Carlos Ramirez made it 4-3 with a sacrifice fly to right that plated Maggi. Kole Calhoun then drew a walk and came around to score on an RBI double by Riccio Torrez. Torrez then scored on a single by Newman to make it 6-3 Devils.

Kyle Brule then took over on the mound for Newman and San Diego jumped all over him. Engell started things with a single and Austin Green then hit a groundball to newly entered third baseman Raoul Torrez who threw wide of MacPhee allowing both runners to be safe on what should have been a double play ball. Tony Strazzara brought home a run with a single to center and Brian Farris bunted the runners up to second and third.

Sean Nicol made it 6-5 with an RBI groundout to short for the second out. Meador tied the game with a two out RBI single, ending the day for Brule. Mitchell Lambson then took over and got out of the inning with the game still at 6-6.

The Devils got the eventual winning run in the bottom half of the sixth. Zack MacPhee led off the inning with a bullet back up the middle, but after a fly out by McDonald, Drew Maggi grounded into a fielder's choice, retiring MacPhee at second. Maggi then stole second and moved up to third on a wild pitch. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Ramirez then walked to load the bases, but Tyler Fick's pitch to Kole Calhoun bounced away from the catcher allowing Maggi to score the go-ahead run.

Mitchell Lambson picked up the victory, his seventh of the season, by pitching 2.1 scoreless innings in relief and striking out four. The Toreros put runners at second and third with nobody out in the 7th, but Lambson struck out two straight and got out of the inning on a pop out.

Matt Newman went five innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits. Brule was tagged for three runs, one earned in 2/3 innings. Seth Blair pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

The Devils will take tomorrow off before hosting Winthrop for a three game series starting on Friday. The Eagles come into the series with a 30-18 record and in third place of the Big South Conference. First pitch is at 6:30 at Packard Stadium.


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