Torrez' Single Lifts ASU Past Oregon State

Mitchell Lambson has bailed out a lot of teammates during his time at ASU. Tonight, he needed the favor returned to him and a senior leader was there to pick him up. Oregon State rallied back for three runs in the top of the eighth knot the game at 5-5, but Raoul Torrez answered back with an RBI single in the bottom half to lift the No. 3 Sun Devils to a 6-5 win at Packard Stadium.

It was a critical victory for ASU because red-hot UCLA is right on its heels coming down the stretch. Saturday's win kept the Sun Devils in first place by three games and they can clinch a share or the outright title as early as Sunday.

With a win or a UCLA loss, ASU (45-6, 18-5 Pac-10) will secure at least a share of the Pac-10 Championship and with both the Sun Devils will win it outright for the fourth consecutive season.

OSU (27-21, 9-14) got to ASU starter Merrill Kelly right out of the gates, scoring two runs in the first inning.

Jared Norris hit his third home run of the season with one out in the inning to make it 1-0 Beavers. OSU then loaded the bases, but Kelly worked out of the jam with just one additional run allowed.

After struggling during his last outing in Tucson, the start to Saturday's game didn't look promising for Kelly, but the junior settled in nicely and didn't allow another run after the first.

That allowed his offense to get going and again the bulk of ASU's offense came from Kole Calhoun. With two on and two outs in the third, Calhoun hit his second home run of the series and his 12th of the season to put the Sun Devils ahead 3-2.

After the home run, OSU starter Sam Gaviglio settled in and pitched two scoreless innings before ASU added an insurance run in the sixth. Johnny Ruettiger tripled to lead off the inning and scored on a groundout by Deven Marrero.

The Beavers weren't pitching to Calhoun the rest of the way and it burned them in the seventh. With two outs, Calhoun drew a walk and Riccio Torrez made it hurt by doubling to left and scoring Calhoun to make it 5-2.

Lambson replaced Kelly in the eighth and gave up a leadoff double to Carter Bell. That brought leadoff hitter Aldaberto Santos to the plate and he left the yard, cutting ASU's lead to 5-4.

Following the big fly, Lambson got two straight outs, but pinch hitter Andy Quiring wouldn't let the inning die easy.

Quiring entered the game with just two hits on the season and a .095 batting average, but he connected for his first career home run and even the score at 5-5.

The freshman tandem of Marrero and Aplin sparked ASU's answer to the OSU rally in the bottom of the eighth. Both singled with one away, bringing Raoul Torrez to the plate.

Torrez, who was 0-7 in the series coming into the at bat, sent a base hit into left that scored Marrero and put ASU up 6-5.

The Sun Devils had a chance to add more runs after they loaded the bases with one out, but Drew Maggi popped out and Zack MacPhee grounded out.

Jordan Swagerty took over in the ninth and allowed a walk and a single, but got Santos to fly out to end the game and record his 12th save.

Kelly didn't factor in the decision, but pitched seven strong innings to rebound from his shaky start last Sunday. The righty only allowed one OSU hit after the first inning and struck out seven. Despite giving up the three runs, Lambson picked up his seventh win.

Calhoun finished 1-1, with the home run and three walks. Marrero continued his hot stretch by adding two more hits.

ASU will try and go for the sweep and potentially clinch the conference championship in the series finale tomorrow afternoon at 12:30PM. Sophomore Jake Borup will get the start for the Sun Devils.


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