ASU Completes Sweep of UCLA

It was a series that was talked about ever since both teams were undefeated after 20 games. It was going to be a battle for the Pac-10 and a chance for one team to lay legitimate claim to being one of the best in the nation. For the Sun Devils, it was the biggest test of the season to date.

Facing a pitching staff that sported the second best team ERA in the nation at 2.80 coming into the weekend, No. 2 ASU forced the UCLA staff to a 6.67 ERA and outscored the No. 5 Bruins 23-5 during a three game sweep that was completed with a 12-3 victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The critical three game sweep marked the first sweep of UCLA in Los Angeles since 1994 and helped the Sun Devils maintain a three game lead atop the Pac-10 over second place California.

A two-run home run by Zack MacPhee put ASU up 2-0 off of UCLA starter Rob Rasmussen in the first inning, but the Bruins struck back in the second inning and knotted the game at 2-2.

Justin Uribe led off the second with a double off of ASU starter Jake Borup, moved up to third on a groundout and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Niko Gallego tied the game with an RBI groundout that scored Marc Navarro, who reached after getting hit by a pitch.

A two-out, RBI single by Riccio Torrez in the third inning scored Jordan Swagerty and put ASU back on top, a lead it would never relinquish.

In the meantime, ASU (38-5, 14-4 Pac-10) used the home run ball to help build on its lead on the Bruins (30-10, 7-8).

Raoul Torrez connected for his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning that put the Sun Devils in front 5-2. The following inning, Kole Calhoun hit a two-run blast of his own to widen the lead to five.

Later that inning, Raoul Torrez singled home Johnny Ruettiger with two outs, after Ruettiger had reached on an infield single and stole second base.

Drew Maggi used his legs to create a run in the sixth inning. After he drew a walk, the speedy shortstop stole second and third base. That allowed him to score on a groundout by MacPhee.

Ruettiger added an RBI double later in the inning to make it 10-2. Swagerty and MacPhee both had RBI singles in the seventh inning to push ASU's lead out to ten.

After allowing the two runs in the second inning, Borup settled in and didn't allow another run the rest of his outing, which lasted six innings. The sophomore allowed just five hits to improve to 9-1 on the season.

Jake Barrett and Jimmy Patterson worked a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, respectively and Josh Moody allowed a solo home run in the ninth, but he ended the game with no further damage.

Ruettiger finished the day 3-4 at the plate and six other Sun Devils had two hits, including MacPhee who finished with four RBIs.

ASU now leads the conference by three games over Cal. Stanford and Oregon are tied for third place, each four games back. UA is five games back, while UCLA dropped all the way to sixth place after the sweep, 5.5 games out of first.

The Sun Devils will host UA for a non-conference game on Tuesday evening at Packard Stadium, before taking next weekend off. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm.

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