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Baseball shuts out Utah Valley

March 14, 2012

The 11th-ranked Arizona State baseball team, behind four strong innings from starting left-hander Adam McCreery and a pair of first-inning home runs, shut out Utah Valley 9-0 , March 13, at Packard Stadium.

McCreery (1-0) earned his first collegiate win after giving up no runs on two hits while striking out five. After walking the first batter in the top of the fourth, McCreery struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

The Devils (11-4) jumped out to an early three-run lead in the first inning on a pair of home runs by Deven Marrero and Abe Ruiz. Andrew Aplin led off the inning with a single through the right side and Marrero brought him around with a homer to left field that was initially ruled foul, but was overturned after the umpires met. Ruiz hit a solo home run two batters later to put the Devils up, 3-0.

Marrero and Ruiz each finished with two hits and pair of RBI, while Marrero added three runs scored and Ruiz crossed the plate twice. James McDonald led the team with three RBI on two hits.

Four Sun Devil pitchers combined to pitch the final five innings, including right-hander Alex Blackford, who allowed no runs on one hit and collected five strikeouts in two innings. Right-hander Robert Ravago threw a perfect seventh inning with a pair of strikeouts, left-hander Matt Dunbar gave up one hit in the eighth and right-hander Joseph Lopez closed out the ninth.

Wolverines (5-9) right-hander Adam Gunn (1-2) conceded six runs, including four earned, on seven hits in four innings and took the loss. Five other pitchers made an appearance for the Utah Valley.

ASU tacked on a run in the second frame on an RBI single by Drew Stankiewicz that scored McDonald, who reached base on an error by the shortstop.

Trever Allen knocked a two-run single into right field in the bottom of the fourth to push the Sun Devils' advantage to six.

ASU scored another run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Ruiz.

The Wolverines threatened in the top of the sixth inning after Billy Burgess drove a hard-hit single to right field with a man on second, but Allen threw him out at home to preserve the Sun Devils' shutout.

Three straight singles in the seventh inning, highlighted by an RBI by both Rouric Bridgewater and McDonald, put the Devils up, 9-0.

The Sun Devils close out their two-game series against Utah Valley at 6:30 p.m. (PT), March 14, at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.