Swagerty Helps Devils Close in on Title

With Josh Spence not returning to the mound for the Arizona State Sun Devils this season, Pat Murphy needed somebody to step in and fill the void. He may have found that in Jordan Swagerty. The freshman continued to shine in the rotation and allowed just two runs in 6.2 innings to move ASU one step closer to their third straight Pac-10 title, routing Oregon 10-2 at Packard Stadium on Saturday.

The win was the 40th of the season for ASU (40-11, 18-5 Pac-10), the third straight year with 40 or more wins and the 30th time in the history of the program that has occurred.

The Devils will clinch the conference championship with a victory tomorrow afternoon over Oregon (14-36, 4-19 Pac 10); because Oregon State knocked off Washington State on Saturday to push ASU's lead up to three with four games to play.

ASU jumped all over Ducks freshman starter Tyler Anderson right away in the first inning. Jason Kipnis singled to left with one away and Carlos Ramirez followed suit. After a wild pitch by Anderson moved the runners up, Kole Calhoun got ASU on the board with an RBI groundout. Riccio Torrez made it 3-0 by blasting a two out home run over the scoreboard, his 5th of his freshman season.

An error allowed ASU to tack on one more in the third. Carlos Ramirez singled with two outs and after a walk to Calhoun, Riccio Torrez reached on an infield single, but shortstop KC Serna threw wild and allowed Ramirez to score and make it 4-0.

A pair of home runs leading off the 5th helped ASU blow the game open against Anderson. Carlos Ramirez led off with his 16th home run of the season and Kole Calhoun made it back to back with his 9th of the year to right. Zack MacPhee scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to increase the lead to 7-0.

The Devils bumped that to 10-0 in the 6th on a bases clearing triple by Abe Ruiz. Calhoun reached on a one out double and Riccio Torrez and Matt Newman walked. After a pop out by MacPhee for the second out, Ruiz tripled down the right field line to plate all three.

In the meantime, Swagerty was shutting out the Ducks offense, until they got a pair against him in the 7th. Swagerty struck out Colby Sokol, but the freshman reached first base on a wild pitch. A single by Darrell Hunter sent Sokol to third and Paul Eshleman drove him home with an RBI fielders' choice. Josh Hogan then singled and sent Eshleman to third and Mitch Karraker made it 10-2 with a sac fly to center.

Swagerty improved to 3-1 on the season by working 6.2 innings and allowing two earned runs on eight hits. The freshman didn't walk a batter and struck out eight. Mitchell Lambson struck out five of the seven outs he recorded in his 2.1 innings to close out the game.

Five different Devils all collected multiple hits. Drew Maggi, Kole Calhoun, Riccio Torrez and Abe Ruiz all had two hits, while Carlos Ramirez had three. Calhoun and Torrez drove in a pair of runs and Ruiz had three RBI.

Seth Blair will take the mound on Sunday looking to give ASU three straight Pac-10 titles for the first time in school history. Freshman right hander Madison Boer (1-7, 5.60 ERA) will likely get the ball for Oregon, with first pitch at 1PM at Packard Stadium.

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