Baseball clinches share of Pac-10 title with win over Stanford
Arizona State clinched at least a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship on the field for the fourth consecutive year, beating Stanford 4-2 at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, California. The Devils, who own the tie breaker over second place UCLA by virtue of their three-game sweep of the Bruins, will earn the Pac-10's automatic berth into the 2010 NCAA Tournament. With the win, the Sun Devils improve to 46-7 on the season, 19-6 in Pac-10 play.
Seth Blair got the starting nod for the Devils, going six innings and allowing only two runs to improve to 11-0 on the season. Blair did not have his best stuff, allowing eight hits and walking three, but he made the big pitches when he had two, escaping trouble in nearly every inning. Mitchell Lambson came on to throw 2.1 innings of no hit ball before giving way to Jordan Swagerty with one out in the ninth. Swagerty allowed an infield single, but nothing else, nailing down the victory and the conference crown.
The save for Swagerty was his 13th of the season, leaving him all alone in the Arizona State record books for single season saves. He broke a tie with Doug Nurnberg (1965) and Kevin Dukes (1981), who each had 12.
Colin Walsh put Stanford on the board in the first against Blair, homering to right field to give the Cardinal an early 1-0 lead. The Devils would tie things up in the top of the second. Zach Wilson led off the inning with a double to left field, then Deven Marrero brought him home with a double of his own to even things up at one apiece.
Stanford answered right back against Blair in their half of the second, getting back-to-back doubles to start the inning and pull back ahead 2-1. Wilson tied things in the top of the third with a two-out RBI single up the middle that scored Kole Calhoun from second. ASU would take the lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Zack MacPhee that scored Raoul Torrez. That would be all the scoring until the ninth inning, when Johnny Ruettiger brought home MacPhee with an infield single that made it 4-2.
Drew Maggi, Zach Wilson, Johnny Ruettiger and Deven Marrero each had a pair of hits for the Devils in the win. The Devils and Cardinal will continue their series tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. from Sunken Diamond.