Blair, Home Runs help ASU Rout Hawaii

The Pac-10 announced its baseball awards just a few days ago and on Saturday, Seth Blair and Zack MacPhee let Hawaii know why they were named Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively.

Blair worked seven innings and only allowed one run and MacPhee had four hits and connected for one of four ASU home runs, as the No. 1 Sun Devils routed Hawaii 12-1 at Packard Stadium to move into the drivers' seat of the Tempe Regional.

Hawaii will now meet San Diego in an elimination game on Sunday afternoon at 1PM. USD stayed alive on Saturday with a 22-1 rout of UW-Milwaukee.

The winner of the early game on Sunday will meet ASU at 6PM. With a win in that game, the Sun Devils would advance to the Super Regional.

Because of an NCAA rule, ASU was the visiting team at its home field on Saturday, but that was just fine. The Sun Devils put four runs on the board in the top of the first inning to jump on the Rainbows early.

Drew Maggi reached on an error, stole second and moved up to third on a base hit by MacPhee. Kole Calhoun made it 1-0 with an RBI groundout that plated Maggi.

After UH starter Josh Slaats hit Riccio Torrez with a pitch, Johnny Ruettiger tripled into right center, scoring two. Deven Marrero followed with a base hit to left that scored Ruettiger.

"When you are the visiting team, you have the opportunity to come out and get somebody on their heels and I thought we did a pretty good job of that," ASU head coach Tim Esmay said. "Our AB's that first inning were incredible, they were ready to go."

The early runs also helped the confidence of Blair.

"It gives you a chance to go out and challenge guys," he said. "You have a four run lead. You give up a home run here, a home run there, a couple hits, it doesn't really matter. You are just trying to get the win."

MacPhee's two-run home run in the second inning made it 6-0 ASU and Raoul Torrez blasted a solo shot in the third to put the Sun Devils up 7-0.

UH reliever Alex Capaul came in and silenced the ASU offense for a bit, but Kole Calhoun got him for his second home run in as many days in the seventh inning. Ruettiger added an RBI double later in the inning to put ASU up 9-0.

The Rainbows finally got some offense against Blair in the seventh, but it was just a solo home run off the bat of Jeffrey Van Doornum.

That was the only blemish on Blair's night, as the junior improved to 12-0 by allowing just three hits and striking out eight. He didn't walk a batter and only threw 79 pitches.

"He located all of his pitches and threw them all for strikes," Van Doornum said. "He is one of the best pitchers in the nation and he showed that tonight."

On the flip side, UH didn't get a similar performance from its top pitcher, Slaats. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs.

"Tonight's game was a tail of the two starting pitchers," UH head coach Mike Trapasso said. "I was very impressed with Blair, I thought he was outstanding and he shut us down from the first pitch. Our starting pitcher didn't have it."

MacPhee added an RBI single in the eighth and Marrero put the finishing touches on the victory with a two-run home run in the ninth.

Jake Barrett and Jimmy Patterson each worked a scoreless inning of relief of Blair.

MacPhee was in an offensive funk coming into the regional, but now is hitting 7-9 in the two NCAA Tournament games.

"I felt good," MacPhee said of his 4-5 night. "I was just trying to get the next guy up, see it and hit it and try to get on first base for Kole."

Riccio Torrez finished 3-4 with three runs scored and Marrero, Ruettiger and Austin Barnes all added two hits.

While ASU will wait to find out its opponent for Sunday evening's game, but its starting pitcher is already decided. Sophomore Jake Borup will get the start for the Sun Devils.

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