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Spence leads baseball to win over Clemson, ASU goes to Omaha

June 07, 2009

Behind a complete game gem from Josh Spence, the Arizona State University baseball team advanced to the 2009 College World Series with an 8-2 win over Clemson on Sunday to win the Tempe Super Regional. A second straight above-capacity crowd of 4,406 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark saw the Sun Devils improve to 49-12 on the season with the victory.

The win puts ASU in the College World Series for the 21st time in school history and the third time in the last five seasons.

Spence, in just his third game back after missing a month due to injury, allowed just four hits and two runs while striking out 10 in his second complete game of the season. He moved to 9-1 with the win, and he now has 109 strikeouts on the year, giving the Sun Devils two pitchers with more than 100 strikeouts for the first time since 1992.

Kole Calhoun, Jason Kipnis and Matt Newman all drove in two runs apiece to lead the offense, with Kipnis and Calhoun each coming through with two-run hits in a five-run fifth inning that put the Sun Devils ahead for good.

Spence sent down 11 straight hitters to start the game, but Clemson left fielder Jeff Schaus broke up the scoreless tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to put the Tigers, the designated home team in the game, up 1-0.

The Sun Devils did not trail for long, however. Johnny Ruettiger led off the fifth with a single and Zack MacPhee then walked before Drew Maggi. After a Carlos Ramirez walk, Calhoun doubled to center and brought in two more runs. Newman then capped off the inning with a double into the gap in right center that plated Calhoun and gave the Devils a 5-1 lead. advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Kipnis then singled up the middle to drive in two and put ASU on top.

Spence made the lead stand up, allowing just one hit over the next four innings, and ASU added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Clemson got a run in the bottom of the ninth, but Spence got Kyle Parker to ground out to end the game and send the Sun Devils into the College World Series.

The Devils will face North Carolina in the opening game of the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. on June 13 or June 14.