A Pair of 9th Inning HR's End ASU's CWS Run

Just when you thought ASU couldn't endure a more heartbreaking loss than their first game with Texas in Omaha, comes Friday night's game with the Longhorns. After blowing a 6-0 lead Tuesday night en route to a 10-6 loss, the Sun Devils gave up two solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth dropping a 4-3 decision which eliminated the maroon and gold from the College World Series.

Arizona State (51-14) sent ace pitcher Mike Leake to the mound on three days rest, and the All-American didn't disappoint. Leake allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings of work, and recorded seven strikeouts.

Kole Calhoun, easily ASU's MVP during its four games in Omaha, had an RBI single in the third to give the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead. The junior batted .563 with three home runs and 11 RBI's during the College World Series.

Texas's Michael Torres responded at the bottom of that frame with a solo blast to knot the game. An inning later, Drew Maggi's two-out RBI single gave ASU the lead back. Texas (49-14-1) tied the game at two apiece in the fifth with a Travis Tucker RBI.

The score remained unchanged until the ninth. In the top portion of that frame, ASU's Jason Kipnis reached second base after an infield single preceded a throwing error by the Longhorns. Zach Wilson's RBI-triple platted Kipnis and gave the Sun Devils their last lead of the night.

Mitchell Lambson, who retired the first seven batters he faced, ultimately suffered the loss and dropped to a 9-5 record. He surrendered his first home run of the game to Cameron Rupp, and with two outs Lambson gave up a walk-off home run to Connor Rowe.

Despite two bitter defeats in 72 hours, the Sun Devils who captured their third consecutive Pac-10 championship this season have much to be proud about. It was a squad short on experience who had several newcomers make an immediate impact. Few expected them to be nationally ranked as high as they were, and the post-season run was anything but predictable.

While it will be losing several key players to the majors, its pool of returning talent should ensure another contention for the conference crown, and perhaps another deep post-season run.

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