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DeMichele, Rodgers lead baseball to 9-1 victory over St. Louis

March 02, 2012

The 11th-ranked Arizona State baseball team beat St. Louis 9-1 on Thursday in the team's first game of the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. Junior infielder Joey DeMichele had a career night at the plate and starting right-hander Brady Rodgers threw a complete game to earn his third win of the season.

Eight different batters collected a hit for the Devils (6-1), who tallied 13 total in the game. DeMichele faced two outs with two strikes three separate times during the game and all three times he drove in an RBI single en route to a career-best five RBI.

Rodgers (3-0) went all nine innings, giving up just one unearned run on four hits to go with seven strikeouts. He faced just three batters in six of the innings during the game, including the final four, and he now has 24 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched this season.

Redshirt freshman Trever Allen hit a two-run inside-the-park homer in the third inning, the first for a Sun Devil since Riccio Torrez did it February 20, 2011, vs. New Mexico. It was Allen's first collegiate home run and his two RBI were a new career high.

DeMichele put the Sun Devils on the scoreboard in the first inning with an RBI single to the right side, scoring junior shortstop Deven Marrero from second. Marrero reached on a single to left field.

DeMichele garnered two-run base hits with two outs and two strikes in both the fifth and sixth innings to push his RBI total to five. Sophomore left fielder Kasey Coffman picked up an RBI base hit later in the sixth and sophomore third baseman Michael Benjamin followed that up with an RBI single of his own two batters later.

Billikens (5-4) catcher Connor Gandossy scored SLU's only run of the game on a throwing error by Coffman after a double by SLU shortstop Alec Sole.

Saint Louis starting left-hander Damian Rivera (0-2) took the loss after allowing eight runs on 12 hits in 5.1 innings. Right-hander Nick Bates pitched the rest of the sixth inning and conceded one hit and one run, while right-hander Zack Smith and left-hander Jim Foster combined to pitch two scoreless innings.

The Sun Devils face Northern Illinois on Friday in the team's second game of the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz. First pitch is set for 4 p.m., and Tim Healey and Seth Dhaenens have the call for Sun Devil Sports Network.