ASU Takes Opener from Oregon State

As the regular season winds down, Kole Calhoun is just getting going. Following suit from last season, the senior is getting hot at the right time. Calhoun blasted his 11th home run of the season and drove in three runs, helping No. 3 ASU to a 10-4 victory over Oregon St. at Packard Stadium.

With the win, the Sun Devils maintained their three game lead in the standings over second-place UCLA. ASU's magic number to clinch a fourth straight Pac-10 Championship is down to three and it could clinch a share of the crown with a win on Saturday and a UCLA loss to California.

ASU (44-6, 17-5 Pac-10) jumped out to an early lead thanks to some defensive miscues from OSU (27-20, 9-13). After Andrew Aplin drew a one-out walk, Raoul Torrez sent a fly ball to center that was dropped by Adalberto Santos.

The error sent Aplin to third and that allowed him to score on a groundout by Austin Barnes. Calhoun's big fly made it 3-0 in the third, scoring Zack MacPhee, who reached on a single.

ASU starter Seth Blair was rolling along in the fourth, striking out the first two batters of the inning before the Beavers struck with two outs. Dylan Jones doubled and scored on a base hit by Danny Hayes.

Calhoun helped ASU get that run back in the fifth inning. He led off the inning with a double to right, moved up to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Johnny Ruettiger.

MacPhee drove in a run with a single in the sixth and Calhoun brought MacPhee in with a single right back up the middle to make it 6-1.

Blair was cruising along into the seventh, but OSU mounted then mounted a comeback. Blair walked Andrew Susac and Tyler Smith singled to left to give the Beavers two runners on with nobody out.

OSU coach Pat Casey then turned to Matt Boyd to pinch hit off the Beavers bench and the move paid off. Boyd connected for his third home run of the season, putting OSU right back in the game at 6-4.

After the home run, Blair then settled back down and worked through the seventh with no further damage.

ASU got the runs back in the bottom half of the inning. The first run came thanks to a pair of freshman. Deven Marrero reached on an infield single and Aplin singled back up the middle sending Marrero to third. Marrero then scored on a passed ball to make it 7-4.

The Sun Devils manufactured their next run in the seventh. A fly out sent Aplin to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Barnes. Marrero would add a two-run double in the eighth to cap the scoring for ASU.

Blair worked seven innings to pick up his 10th win of the season, allowing four runs and striking out nine. Mitchell Lambson and Jake Barrett each worked a scoreless inning of relief.

Calhoun reached base safely four times, going 3-4 at the plate and drawing a walk. Marrero also finished with three hits for ASU.

ASU and OSU will continue its three game set tomorrow evening at Packard Stadium. First pitch is at 6:30PM with junior righty Merrill Kelly (9-1, 3.86 ERA) getting the start for ASU and OSU likely sending junior lefty Tanner Robles (5-4, 3.45) to the mound.


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