Rodgers Gets Revenge on Arizona

Two weeks ago, ASU freshman pitcher Brady Rodgers felt that he let the game against UA slip through his fingers. Rodgers, who was the losing pitcher in a 4-2 loss just two Tuesday's earlier, pitched like a man out for revenge. He tossed eight dominate innings and didn't allow a run to lead No. 2 ASU to a 13-1 drubbing of the No. 22 Wildcats at Packard Stadium.

"Last time I faced them, the only reason they scored three runs was because of my mistakes hitting guys and walking a guy," Rodgers said. "I knew I wasn't going to do that again."

He allowed a hit to the first batter of the game and then locked in and retired 21 Wildcats in a row. No UA player reached base after the leadoff single until the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, the ASU (39-5) offense kept rolling and picked up right where the left off last weekend.

The Sun Devils were held off the scoreboard until UA starter Nick Cunningham, who is normally the team's closer, ran out of gas in the fourth inning.

After walks to Kole Calhoun and Riccio Torrez, Cunningham was pulled for Vincent Littleman. Raoul Torrez greeted him by lacing a two-run double into left centerfield and moved up to third on the throw to the plate.

Deven Marrero made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly that plated Raoul Torrez and ASU got a fourth run thanks to bad defense from UA (29-14). After Andrew Aplin drew a walk, a dropped pickoff throw let him move up to second and he scored on an error by second baseman Robert Refsnyder.

The Sun Devils buried the Wildcats in the sixth inning, scoring seven runs and it seemed like UA just couldn't get the final out of the inning.

Riccio Torrez started the big inning with a double into the left field corner and Johnny Ruettiger drew a walk. After a fly out , Marrero singled to right and Riccio Torrez scored to make it 5-0.

Aplin added an RBI groundout, but ASU put the game away with two out offense. Austin Barnes and Drew Maggi drew walks and both scored on a double by Zack MacPhee.

One batter later, Calhoun blasted his team-leading ninth home run onto Rural Road to bring ASU's lead to 11-0. The Sun Devils got a two-run single from Barnes in the seventh to cap their scoring.

But the story of the game was Rodgers, who was dominant from the start. He was ahead of nearly every hitter, painting his fastball on the corners with ease.

He showed poise and confidence that ASU hasn't seen in a freshman since Mike Leake.

"That was really impressive," ASU coach Tim Esmay said of Rodgers' outing. "He was like that at UCLA (three innings Saturday). He's got a lot of poise and some moxie to him. He has a really good idea what he's doing out there."

Rodgers streak of 21 set down in a row ended when UA freshman first baseman Cole Frenzel led off the eighth with a base hit to center that almost turned into a spectacular diving catch by Aplin.

While they didn't make that play, the Sun Devils were flawless on defense yet again. Every infielder made at least one outstanding play, including a few from third baseman Raoul Torrez.

Rodgers, who lowered his ERA to a team best 1.44, rattled off at least five plays after the game that impacted his performance.

"My defense was stellar (tonight)," he said. "Nothing got through."

The Wildcats got their only run of the night in the ninth inning against ASU closer Jordan Swagerty, who was in the game to get some work because he didn't pitch against UCLA.

After a leadoff single in the ninth, Rinard took second on a defensive indifference and scored when Swagerty threw a ball hit by Rafael Valenzuela away.

Marrero finished 2-3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and scored two runs. MacPhee was the only other Sun Devil with multiple hits, finishing 2-5 with two RBIs.

ASU will now take the weekend off and prepare to host BYU on Monday and Tuesday. Because ASU's Pac-10 series with UA the following weekend doesn't start until Saturday, Esmay said that his weekend starters will see work against BYU.

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