An error opened the floodgates for the Devils (36-11) against Winthrop starter Wade Newman in the first inning. Shortstop Kevin Nolan's bobble allowed Drew Maggi to beat out the throw to start the first. Maggi then stole second and came into score on an RBI triple by Jason Kipnis.
Carlos Ramirez followed with a single that brought home Kipnis and after a strikeout, Matt Newman also singled. Abe Ruiz then loaded the bases with a single, before Johnny Ruettiger unloaded them with a bases clearing triple to right that put ASU out in front 5-0.
The Devils added another run in the second, starting with Kipnis collecting his second hit in as many innings. Kipnis moved up to second on a Newman balk and scored on a RBI double by Carlos Ramirez that was hit over the head of Eagle centerfielder Cam Walters.
Johnny Ruettiger started the third inning with his second triple of the day and Jared McDonald brought him in with an RBI groundout to make it 7-0.
In the sixth, Kole Calhoun drew a leadoff walk and stole second, moved up on a groundout and then scored on a wild pitch, creating his own run.
The Eagles (30-19) got an unearned run off of Leake in the 7th. Matt Thielepape led off with a double, before Sean Sullivan ripped one into the left-centerfield gap but was robbed of extra bases on a sensational, full-extension diving catch by Kipnis. Zack MacPhee then took the relay throw and tried to double off Thielepape, but threw it into the Winthrop dugout allowing Thielepape to move up to second. The next batter, Bryn Henderson doubled to that same gap and cut the lead to 7-1.
Jared McDonald added an RBI triple in the 7th to get that run back and scored himself on a groundout by Maggi. Kole Calhoun added an RBI double later in the inning that scored Kipnis who reached on a walk.
Jason Kipnis capped his 4-5 day with a two-run blast to right center for his 13th home run of the season. The junior snapped out of his mini-funk with four hits, four runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. Carlos Ramirez went 3-5 and drove in two runs for ASU and Matt Newman and Johnny Ruettiger each had two hits, with Ruettiger driving in three. Jared McDonald also drove in three on Friday.
Mike Leake worked seven innings and didn't allow an earned run while striking out eight. The eight strikeouts pushed Leake's season total over 100 for the second straight season. Jeeter Ishida worked the final two innings, allowing two unearned runs on a two run home run by Aaron Bonomi.
While ASU wasn't playing a conference series, the two teams behind them in the standings were. UCLA fell 3-2 to Cal, while Oregon State held on for a 6-4 win over Washington. The Beavers now take over second place and sit 3 games behind ASU, with UCLA 3.5 back.
ASU and Winthrop will continue their series tomorrow at 6:30. Seth Blair is the likely starter for ASU, while the Eagles have yet to announce their pitcher.